Quick CNA Guide: Aspiration Prevention

As a Certified Nursing Assistant, you get to work in almost any possible healthcare settings. You get to work with different kinds of patients, most especially the elderly since they are the kind of people who needs assistance the most. As part of your job as a Certified Nursing Assistant, it is your duty to assist your patient in everything that they do like feeding, bathing and grooming themselves. You tend to their needs and make sure that you meet all of it. It is also your job to make sure that they would be in the best possible health condition by preventing the occurrence of threats such as bed sores. As people aged, they lose some of the vigor that they have as a young people, this may be emotionally as well as physically, which is in terms of expected deterioration on their health such as elasticity of the skin and also on the other parts of their body. It is then your duty to prevent the effects that this may cause. One of the things that a care giver should remember to watch out for is the risk for Aspiration.

Aspiration can usually occur among older people since as they ages, they also develop slow swallowing rate which may result to dysphagia or difficulty in chewing and swallowing. This is may be due to existing condition such as Dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, as the one who took care of them, it is important that you know something about Aspiration Prevention.

Some of the things that you can do are:

  • Providing a 30 minute break before feeding your patient as a rested person has a less possibility of difficulty in swallowing.
  • Position your patient so as to avoid aspiration by having him sit on a chair during meals or if he is bedridden, you could then elevate the head of the bed up to 90 degrees.
  • Do not be in a hurry in feeding your patient. Let him chew his food on his own time and pace.
  • Serve him food on a small amount or if how much he can tolerate.
  • If the patient is experiencing facial paralysis, put the food on the unaffected side of his face.
  • Also avoid things that may distract the patient during his meal time.
  • Also provide oral care to the patient before and after his meal.
  • Do not also try feeding a patient that was heavily sedated.

These are the things that could help you prevent aspiration however, remember that a proper assessment could also be very helpful so as to know the early signs of aspiration or any possible factors that could lead to aspiration.

Tips for CNAs

Cna and LPN

Abby, has been working as a certified nursing assistant for a few weeks now. She had been waiting for this moment for so long, however, despite it being her dream, she couldn’t help but feel exhausted. Everything feel too much for her. She feels drained, as if she already wants to take a break. Is this job really that draining? Or am I taking things the wrong way? She finds herself asking as she collapses on her bed and recharges herself for another draining day tomorrow.

If you are a new CNA and is feeling the same way as Abby, then here are a few tricks and tips to help you get through and even enjoy your career as a certified nursing assistant.

Always be prepared

Always keep your essentials on hand as by doing so, you can react quickly when needed. You can do this by preparing and using a basic work kit. You can stock a waist pouch with spare gloves, pens, a watch, and other supplies so that you know right where to reach when you need essential tools.

Plan wisely

In a profession where there a lot of things to do, it is important that you plan your day wisely so as not to overlook some tasks. Make a list of what needs to be done and arrange them according to priority, from the most important and urgent to the least. Work through your list to ensure everything is done before the end of your shift.

Don’t be afraid to delegate

Sometimes, things get too much and you feel like you can’t do everything by yourself. Know where and when to ask for a lending hand. Ask colleagues for help when it’s truly warranted.

Avoid distractions

In this profession, you couldn’t afford to make mistakes as even the smallest ones can lead to grave consequences. So, it is important to always stay focused and concentrated on your job. Do not let distractions get to you. For example, you can do this by turning off your smartphone during your shift and avoiding checking personal emails and browsing through the internet while using the workplace computer. You can also avoid chit-chatting with your friends during work. This way, you can pay more attention to the task you are performing and not get sidetracked.

Help when you can

Remember what was said about delegation and asking your coworkers to lend a hand earlier? The situation works both ways. Whenever you’re not too busy, help others in need if you can. They will always remember it and may even do the same to you if ever the situation gets reversed in the future. As the saying goes, treat others how you would like to be treated.

However, it is important to remember that you should not drop an important task to help someone else.

Take care of yourself

You help save lives, you promote health, thus, you should also do the same to yourself. Always make sure that you stay hydrated, eat healthy food and get plenty of sleep. Avoid staying too late as much as you can and try to exercise. By taking good care of yourself, you will also be able to take care of your patients more efficiently.

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Join the Bandwagon: Why you should be a CNA

Ria is about to graduate from high school and is currently looking up potential career choices. What do I see myself in the future as? What do I want to be? She finds herself asking. Several choices pop in her mind and a whole lot more keep popping up as she does her research. However, there is one career which really intrigues her. One which has attracted many and is doing the same to her. She couldn’t seem to get it off her mind.

Maybe this is it. Maybe this is just the job for me. She tells herself, feeling hopeful. But still, despite knowing that this is the profession she’s looking for, she couldn’t help but feel curious as to how much more the job has to offer. What else is there to discover? Is there something else she should know about? Why should hopefuls like her consider a career being a CNA? Let’s find out.

Reasons why you should consider being a Certified Nursing Assistant

  • It offers a steady employment

If consistency s what you’re looking for, then this is just what the job offers. While in other jobs you wouldn’t know how many hours from one week to the next, in this job, your work schedule is steady as most facilities promise 40 hours a week and try to keep the schedule similar from one week to the next.

  • It also offers job stability

Nowadays, it is important to find a career which will assure you that you will always have a job, that you won’t go worrying whether or not you will still be employed in the next month or so. For CNAs, the demand will always be there, and will continue to grow. It is also predicted that in the coming years, the demand will increase.

  • It’s affordable

In order to become a CNA, you can take various community classes, many of which are available online. Some of these courses are even offered for free. Furthermore, a CNA has certification rather than a degree, which makes the education process much quicker.

  • You have the chance to work in a variety of settings/sectors

CNAs can work from a small retirement community in a rural state to a major hospital in a big city, a private clinic to assisted living facilities. You can work almost anywhere.

  • The job is emotionally rewarding

It always feels nice to have the ability to help people. In this career, you also have the chance to develop your relationship with your patient.

  • It offers a transferable credit

Your CNA experience may be classed as a transferable credit for further education, even in non-nursing fields.

  • Short training period

Training to become a CNA doesn’t take long. Before the facility can allow you to care for the patients, the federal government does insist that you receive 75 hours of training. Once you’ve completed that, you will be able to care for patients and work for full pay. You can also train online.

  • You will have flexible working schedule

You can work your way around your schedule. You won’t have to give up work to do other things such as studying. Before the facility can allow you to care for the patients, the federal government does insist that you receive 75 hours of training. Once you’ve completed that, you will be able to care for patients and work for full pay.

  • It offers a good salary

The median salary of a CNA is $24,000 nationally, which is not too bad considering that you don’t need a college degree and training can be completed in as little as six weeks.

 

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Top Duties of CNAs

We often see them roaming around the hospital corridors, carrying out tasks delegated to them, caring for one patient to another. They have been our partners in crime (err.. care?), providing basic needs to patients. Who are we talking about? Of course, they are no other than Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).

CNAs work under the supervision of nurses in delivering high quality care to patients, but what exactly are their duties? Let’s pause a bit and take a closer look at CNAs’ and their duties and responsibilities.

  • Feed, bathe and dress patients

CNAs assist patients perform their basic needs as well as personal hygiene such as giving bedpans, urinals, baths, backrubs, shampoos, and shaves; helping with showers and baths.These patients might include stroke victims, the elderly residents of nursing homes, or individuals recovering from an accident, injuries or surgeries in a hospital.

  • Check vital signs

CNAs are responsible for maintaining patient stability through taking and recording patient vital signs from taking the temperature to monitoring the blood pressure, measuring the weight, testing urine, and recording intake and output information. Routine tasks such as these are classically the initial steps of a patient’s visit to a physician’s office or hospital.

  • Serve meals, make beds and keep rooms clean

CNAs are responsible for serving meals and even feeding patients as necessary. Also included in their duties and responsibilities are making beds and helping clean rooms, cleaning out bedpans and changing soiled sheets. They also have the chance to have regular, one-on-one contact with patients, thus developing compassionate relationships that can help people make it through times of illness with dignity.

  • Set up medical equipment and assist with some medical procedures

This may involve laying out tools for the next patient exam or perhaps moving heavy medical equipment from one room to another. There are states that allow CNA’s who have had the appropriate training to assist with or perform some medical procedures, such as drawing blood.

  • Answer calls for help and observe changes in a patient’s condition or behavior

CNAs provide patient comfort by utilizing resources and materials, transporting patients, answering patients’ call lights and requests, and reporting observations of the patient to nursing supervisor.They do not only observe for obvious changes in the patient’s physical condition, but given how much time they spend with patients, they may also note subtleties of patients’ emotional state, which can have immense impact on helping patients make it through a trying recovery or come to terms with a long-term condition.

 

Sources:

http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/recruiting-hiring-advice/job-descriptions/certified-nursing-assistant-job-description.aspx