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How to be most efficient as a shower aid?

CNA/MA   (855 Views 4 Comments)
by sudssoap sudssoap (New Member) New Member

90 Visitors; 2 Posts


Okay, so I just started my first job as a CNA in a SNF about three weeks ago. I really love the work and I feel like I'm good at it, except for one little thing...shower shifts.

In my facility the shower shift is 4 hours, from 6 am to 10 am. The idea is to do as many of the hardest showers as you can out of the 15-20 showers each day. I've heard other CNAs complaining when a shower aid only got 4 showers done and then left for the day, so I've been trying to get more than that done when I can. The problem is I'm quite slow at showers and if I try to do more than four I end up staying a couple hours past when my shift is supposed to end. I don't mind staying, but the facility does prefer for the shower shift to be done at 10. On my training shift for showers we got 7 showers done in 4 hours, but in the two shower shifts I've done on my own I've gotten 5 showers done in 5 1/2 hours and then 7 showers in 6 1/2 hours (with a student helping change linens and stuff).

So does anyone have any advice for making showers faster? I'm supposed to shower them, dress them, change their linens, and in some cases get them up in their wheelchairs. Every other day there are 3 hoyer transfers that need to be showered and those set me back quite a bit. Any tips that you have learned that help with efficiency? I know I'll get faster with practice, but I could still use some advice to help me speed things up some more.

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226 Likes; 1 Follower; 44,068 Visitors; 2,940 Posts

I don't have any idea. A million years ago as a RN I floated to the skilled nursing facility that was part of the acute care hospital. I kind of helped with showers.

My humble advice is to NOT listen to co-workers complain about a shower aide only getting 4 done. They we're most likely just gossiping, venting, about their job. Not really presenting the WHOLE picture. They may even be cutting corners, not giving complete showers or not changing the patients linen! Plus they are not your boss.

Your charge nurse or manager is the only person who's opinion matters. Have they said anything to you?

As a new CNA of course your going to be slower, DUH.

There is another post about a CNA who's patient was injured using a stand up lift. The CNA is worried she'll lose her job and license. Patient safety takes precedence over working quickly.

So unless your charge nurse or manager has talked to you about being to slow, fergedaboudit!

YouTube has great videos about showering patients. Unfortunately the videos are with calm, easy, patients under ideal circumstances. Very far from the reality of confused, obese, noncompliant patients.

You will get better.

It sounds like unrealistic and unsafe expectations to do 7 to 8 complete showers and linen changes in 4 hours! Do the best you can keeping the patients safe and well cared for, and start looking for another job.

If you are doing patient care after your shift is over that is against all policy. If you, or a patient, gets hurt after your shift is over, even if you did nothing wrong, you will lose your job and license so quickly your head will spin, and you will be ineligible for any workers compensation if you're injured.

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1,247 Visitors; 47 Posts

Four showers for hoyer patients in four hours is not bad, but not great either. Depending on how short staffed your facility is, it can take forever to find help transferring and add another 30 minutes onto a 30 minutes shower. If your management isn't a stickler on it, if you can transfer them from bed straight to the shower chair then do it. I'm pretty sure it's considered bad practice at some facilities and you're doing this in the morning so that's when all of the desk jockies are hovering around but it really does save a good 10 minutes.

While you're waiting for someone to come help you transfer, make the bed then.

The actual part of washing should not take you that long, maybe 10 minutes tops. But I get by the time you wait 15 minutes for them to be transferred each way that's already a 40 minute shower, if they are difficult in any way it's going to take a complete hour.

All you can do is work and not worry about what they say because it is not going to make things faster. Especially those types of CNAs that talk **** about their coworkers and then you find them hiding in patients rooms texting when you need help with the transfer...

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roangie467 has 2 years experience.

42 Visitors; 4 Posts

I was a CNA in homecare so I was never quite so busy. But I did work with patients who were bedbound, morbidly obese, couldn't stand, and needed hoyer lifts. I always got everything prepared beforehand. I'd assemble the fresh change of clothing in the order they would be put on. For my bedbound patients, I'd cut open big garbage bags to keep their beds dry (just fastest clean-up). I'd turn on heaters in the bathroom and bedrooms to let the rooms warm up before having patients disrobe. I'd let family members know ahead of time we would be occupying the bathroom and to please keep hallways clear to avoid traffic jams.

As you learn patients' routines and preferences, it'll be helpful to run it through your head when prepping. For example, Mrs G. liked to use a medium-sized washcloth and a small washcloth for her shower, and 2 large towels to dry off. I made sure I had towels and washcloths by the ready (plus at least one extra). Wheelchairs often didn't fit in the shower stalls, so showers always created bathroom puddles, ha. The only thing I could do about that was place towels on the floor (and take off my shoes and socks). This will always create a lot of laundry. I would write myself checklists of everything I'd need. The other shift CNAs found them helpful, especially if they were only subbing.

Well, that's all I can think of the moment. I hope I helped, despite our situations being so different. Good luck with your patients! Happy bath times.

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