What it takes to be a CNA? – Appropriate Observation Skills

In our everyday lives, we get to use all our senses in just about every day. We get to use our sight in choosing what color of dress would suit us, our sense of hearing to hear news around the world, sense of smell to savor the aroma of our mother’s new dish, sense of taste to know what makes up a local dish, and sense of touch to express our love for our love ones. But for those who are in the health care profession, the use of their senses is much more than that. They are used to observe any deviations that may put the patient’s life at risk. Being a Certified Nursing Assistant, it exactly asks you to do that. After all, you are the constant presence during a patient’s stay in the hospital. You spent almost all your working hours with them while meeting their needs. If anything happens, you are the first person to know or notice it. This is what it takes to be a CNA, having appropriate observation skills.

That is why a good or appropriate Observation skill is a must and come as very handy when working with patients. There are two things that a Nurse Aide should learn how to observe, and these are:

  • Subjective Observation
  • Objective Observation

Subjective observation is made up of everything that the patient had said to you. You take on what he said and that is where you make your observation on what he really feels or what he needs. A nurse aide can be considered by a patient to be his confidante, thus, he would readily tell you about everything. It is up to you to sort out what needs to be reported to the nurse without putting the patient’s privacy at risk. It is also important that when reporting subjective observation, the nurse aide should make an observation and not an assumption. She should report what he only hear and observe and not to make his own diagnosis. However, subjective observation, no matter how it came from the patient himself, cannot be measured and cannot be the only thing to rely on when making observation. Thus, the use of objective observation comes in. This is where you make use of all of your senses. You look out for any signs of bed sores on your patient’s skin, you smell for any signs of foreign odors such as the need to change diapers, you listen for Pulse as you take the blood pressure, and you feel for any signs of lumps on the patient’s skin. These things can be measured and can really tell the patient’s actual condition.

When using your observation skills, it is important to keep it accurate and to do it on a timely manner. After all, time is precious and should not be wasted just like life. So if you want to be a good CNA, then what it really takes to be one is a good observation skill.

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