Medication Safety Guide for CNA’s

As a Certified Nursing Assistant, it is your duty to assist not only the patients but the nurses as well. You cannot do anything unless you are under the supervision of a nurse or a licensed practical nurse. This is due to the fact that a Nursing Aide has a lesser training than a nurse or the LPN. They are considered to be a first-entry level in the Nursing Profession and that they are only qualified to do basic tasks. However, this does not mean that they are not considered to be responsible on the tasks that were assigned to them. No matter how they need to be supervised, they still need to be accountable on everything that they do. After all, on this job, they are dealing with lives and so, it is only important that everyone on the healthcare team should be responsible in everything that they do. A nursing aide might think that they are only responsible on giving patients their medications on time and just that it. This specific task, however, calls for a much cautious and safe approach.

How do you then ensure medication safety?

As a Certified Nursing Assistant, you could not just give medications anytime we want. You only get to do this once the nurse had assigned you to do it and you cannot give just any medications because there is only a limited kind of medications that are part of your scope. In giving medications, you have to remember the five rights on giving medications.

These five rights are:

  • The Right Medication

You need to double check the doctor’s order as well as the prescription sheet to see if it is the right medication. You also need to check the name of the medications twice and if possible, let the nurse check it with you.

  • The Right patient

Do not be contented to just check the Id Band of the patient to check his identity. Also ask the patient himself for his complete name or if he is not able to, ask his family. In this way, you are sure that you are giving the right medication to the right patient.

  • The Right Route

Study first the exact way of giving that certain drug to the patient. If you are not sure, ask your nurse to show you.

  • The Right Dosage

Always make sure that you are giving the right dosage by using the right measuring instrument. Do not just assume that it is the right dosage. If you are not, then again, have your nurse check it with you.

  • The Right Time

Always make sure that you give the medication to your patient on time. Do not delay it or give it way ahead of time.

Also make sure that you document it right after you give them. This is a way for the other member of the health team to know if that certain medication has already been given or not. Also, never fail to check if your patient develops adverse reaction and be able to counteract it on time. It was never a waste of time in doing all of this, if this means assuring the safety of your patient.

5 Suggestions for CNAS to Finish Tasks on Time

Sometimes, an 8 hour or 12 hour shift could never be enough to finish all your tasks for the day. Sometimes, you could not even spare even a minute to have your bathroom breaks and you even skip your meals just to finish everything. At the end of the day, you went home feeling tired and exhausted. If this continue to happen, this could affect your productivity thus you could never really complete your tasks at any given time. However, this problem only asks for some perseverance, discipline and hard work for you to overcome it. There are also some ways that could help you organize and finish all your tasks.

These are the 5 suggestions for CNAs to finish Tasks on Time:

Planning

You could start your day by planning way ahead of time on how you would spend your shift. You could list all your tasks for the day and spare enough time for each of your tasks such as bathing your patient on the first hour of your shift. Make sure to schedule everything in a way that you could spare enough time for your own needs as well.

Prioritizing

Prioritize which a task is important and must be done immediately. It is never helpful to keep on jumping from one task to another without finishing anything because you never knew which needs your attention first. It is also not helpful if you choose to do first the least important tasks from the most important like changing the bed linen first instead of giving the patient his due medications.

Delegation

If you are the senior nursing aide on your shift, it would definitely benefit everyone if you knew how to delegate the tasks well among yourselves. Try delegating tasks that the person is very good at, in this way; you could all save a lot of time.

Communication

Effective communication is also important in finishing all your tasks. This could save you from the trouble of doing things that was already done by others as well as avoiding mistakes which if this happen, could also mean another waste of time. Example of an effective communication is by communicating to each other that certain medication has been already given. This spares your co employers and yourself as well from extra unnecessary time in knowing if it is already given or not.

Procrastination

This means you took more than the allotted time in finishing a certain tasks just because you think it is boring or you did not want to do it at all. This is one thing that you should avoid. Also, there are instances where your patients would want to have small talk with you thus preventing you from finishing your task. For this matter, you could try planning or sparing some time for a nice chat with your patient or you could schedule this during their meal time thus doing two tasks at the same time while keeping your patients happy. Sometimes, it is indeed hard to finish all your tasks on time but with careful planning and time management, you could do just that and could be more productive than you could imagine.

CNA Guide: How To Deal With Clients with Alzheimer’s Disease?

According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, dementia reportedly affects 3% to 11% of community-residing adults older than 65 years of age and about half of community-residing adults older than 85 years of age. Many of those suffering from dementia who are older than 85 reside in institutional settings. Almost 60% of adults 100 years of age and older demonstrate dementia. With this high incidence, the need for nurses to take care of these demented clients also increases. As such, becoming a certified nursing assistant or a CNA opens you to several job opportunities. The Western countries would never lose the need for CNAs as the baby boomers are expected to hit the retiring age soon. Thus, there’s a great possibility that as a CNA, you’ll be working with clients with Alzheimer’s disease. So here’s a quick CNA guide to dealing with clients with Alzheimer’s disease:

Definition:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, irreversible, degenerative neurologic disease that begins insidiously and is characterized by gradual losses of cognitive function and disturbances in behavior and affect. Although Alzheimer’s can occur in people as young as 40, it is uncommon before age 65. The prevalence of this disease increases dramatically with increasing age, affecting 30% of those 85 and older.

Symptoms:

  • loss of speech
  • loss of motor function
  • profound personality and behavioral changes such as paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, inattention to hygiene, and belligerence

Nursing Management:

  • Supporting Cognitive Function
    • Provide a calm, predictable environment to help the client interpret his surroundings and activities.
    • Limit environmental stimuli and established a regular routine.
    • Speak in a quiet, pleasant manner. Offer clear and simple explanations. Use of memory aids and cues help minimize confusion and disorientation, as well as provide a sense of security to these clients.
    • Display clocks and calendars prominently to enhance client’s orientation to time.
    • Encourage client to have active participation to help maintain cognitive, functional, and social skills for a longer period of time.
  • Promoting Physical Safety
    • Remove all obvious hazards and install hand rails to facilitate the client’s maximum independence and sense of autonomy.
    • Adequate lighting must be ensured, especially in halls, stairs, and bathrooms. Nightlights are helpful especially for clients who have the tendency to be confused during nighttime.
    • Persuasion or distraction may help in reducing client’s wandering behavior.
    • Restraints should be avoided, as this will further agitate the client.
  • Promoting Independence in Self-Care Activities
    • Clients should be assisted in to remain functionally independent for as long as possible. Simplify daily activities into short, achievable steps so that the client will feel a sense of accomplishment. Clients should be encouraged to make choices when appropriate and to participate in self-care activities as much as possible.
  • Reducing Anxiety and Agitation
    • Move client to a familiar environment.
    • Listening to music, stroking, rocking may help.
    • Distraction may quiet the client.
  • Providing for Socialization and Intimacy Needs
    • Encourage visits, letters and phone calls from friends. Visits should be brief and non-stressful. Also, limit the visitors to one or two at a time to help reduce overstimulation.
    • Encourage client to enjoy simple activities as a form of recreation. This may include walking, exercising, socialization, caring for a plant or a pet.
  • Promoting Adequate Nutrition
    • Serve familiar foods that look appetizing and taste good. Food must be bite-sized to prevent choking. Hot food and beverages must be served warm to avoid burns.
    • Offer one dish at a time for clients to avoid playing with food.
    • Provide aprons or smocks, rather than a bib to protect the client’s clothes.
  • Promoting Balanced Activity and Rest
    • During daytime, encourage clients to participate in exercise regimens. Discourage long periods of daytime sleeping.
    • During nighttime, if client has trouble sleeping, offer warm milk, back rub or play music to help the client relax.