6 Basic Skills Performed by a CNA

There are a lot of things that a Certified Nursing Assistant performs based on her job description. It is her task to assist or help patients in doing their activity of daily living especially if the patient is unable to do it himself or alone. For one, she needs to help them bathe, groom and fed themselves. Assisting and accompanying patient whenever they need to go to the laboratory for some test is another important activity to do. Turning comatose patients and executing passive or active range of motion exercises to residents are usually routine assignments for these professionals to prevent bed sores and promote blood circulation.

In addition, CNA’s should maintain and keep the room of the patient clean by changing the bed linens. Vital signs of the patient are not only monitored but are mandated to be documented. Certified Nursing Assistants are individuals responsible for assisting patient on about almost everything. However, there is what we call basic skills that every Nurse Aide should learn and apply on her daily work. This is what really made up their job.

The six basic skills performed by a Certified Nursing Assistant are:

  • Awareness and Observation

Since they are the constant presence during a patient’s stay in the hospital and the direct link of the nurse, they need to be constantly aware of any deterioration or changes in a patient’s status. They need to carefully observe and report whatever they notice to the nurse especially if it requires immediate action.

  • Critical Thinking

This requires knowledge and proper observation enough to do sound decision. Nurse Aide is required to think accurately and in a timely manner since life is always at stake.

  • Communication

They are always at the bed side of the patient; therefore, they need to have good communication skills in order to communicate effectively with patients and their family. They also need to communicate as well with the other member of the health team.

  • Following Protocol

They also need to learn how to follow protocol, directions or guidelines that are established by the hospital since it is done to protect the patient and their employees as well.

  • Timeliness

As what was mentioned, Nurse Aide are dealing greatly with lives therefore everything should be done in a timely manner such as turning patient every two hours to avoid or prevent the formation of bed sores.

  • Body Mechanics

This is a skill which every Nurse Aide should learn since they are the first line who will assist the patient, therefore, knowing how to properly position the patient is a requisite and it is also a way to prevent injuries to themselves.

No matter what was included in the job description, these six skills would always accompany a CNA’s task although not stated or listed. After all, these are really what this job calls and ask for.

Requisites for CNA Registration

You think you have the calling to serve the humanity? Do you have a tendency to be compassionate and always ready to help other people? Do you always have a listening ear for the woes and hopes of the sick? If your mind tells you that indeed all of this speaks all about you, then you are fit to be a certified nurse assistant.

personal care cnaA Certified Nurse Assistant or CNA is a person employed by the hospital in answer to the nursing shortage problem. They are tasked to assist the nurses and the Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN in bathing, feeding, grooming their patient and to help them ambulate. They help lessen the task done by the nurses and act as their bridge in giving holistic care to their patent. But to be a Certified Nursing Assistant, one has to undergo a series of test and exams just to earn this certificate. There are requisites for CNA registration that a person needs to take for him to have his own certificate.

Not just everyone can be a CNA or in a spur of the moment, they can call themselves that. You ought to have the following:

  • One has to have a high school diploma before undergoing or taking a CNA course or program. If you are a high school graduate and have no money to go to college or to take a 4 year course, you could then take an online course or a school that offers CNA certification. But you have to make sure that this online course is being provided by an accredited school. Otherwise, you don’t want to have all your efforts gone to waste.
  • Undergo Training. An online CNA program would usually last for 12 weeks and composed of 50 hours of theory educations and 100 hours of training where you can apply everything that you have learned. The knowledge aspect will teach you all the basic knowledge that you need to learn all about nutrition, anatomy and physiology, infection control, medical terminologies and of course, client rights. In terms of applying your knowledge, you are required then to undergo a clinically supervised training where you are exposed to the activities being done in a clinical setting. You need to pass this all before you are allowed to take a competency exam or the National Nurse Aid Assessment Program or NNAAP.
  • Take a competency exam or National Nurse Aid Assessment Program or NNAAP. This should be state regulated and it is composed of a written examination as well as a skill evaluation exam where you need to successfully perform 5 selected skills that any Nursing Aide should know. If you’ll be able to do this and be able to pass, then you are now a Certified Nursing Assistant.

These are all the requisites for you to gain a certificate. It means that all people who want to be a Nursing Aide need to pass and experience this all. So do your best to pass and be the most compassionate and understanding Nursing Aides that you dream to become.

CNA Job Interview Tips

After acing the CNA State Exam and completing the necessary requirements, you are now ready to practice what you’ve learned and worked hard for. It’s now high time to scout for that dream CNA job that will not only fulfill your mission of serving humanity, but a career that will likewise pay your bills and feed you.

Every fresh graduate, and even those who are looking for a new job, normally finds it nerve-wracking to sit in for an interview. Thus, to make sure the interview goes well even for a first-timer, it is important to keep in mind some useful tips on the interview process, which includes sufficient preparation and a lot of confidence.

job interview

The first tip is to prepare for the interview by anticipating questions. Since all institutions prefer someone who is genuinely interested in working with them, one must do his own assignment: research. Find out about the institution’s background, vision and mission, and statement of principles. That way, you will be able to figure out what you can contribute to the institution, and whether you would adapt to their working environment. It is also important to gather information on the position you are applying for, which includes the specific responsibilities and the experience needed for them to evaluate how you qualify. That way, you will already have potential answers to questions like “Why should we hire you?” Most importantly, anticipate questions or clarifications related to what you’ve written on your resume and application letter. The art of preparation, however, is not aimed at coming up with rehearsed answers but rather, well-thought ones.

The second tip revolves around what to do and what not to do during the interview itself. Among other important things, punctuality is crucial. It is thus best to arrive around 10 minutes before your scheduled time, so as not to make negative impressions. Certainly, first impressions still make or break an interview; hence, it will also be better to come in decent semi-formal attire, which shows a degree of professionalism and good taste. Make sure you also have a copy of your resume/application letter with you in case of emergency. Courtesy and good manners are also a must—always remember basic greetings and, if possible, shake hands with the interviewer before and after the interview.

Listen well, avoid distractions and interrupting the interviewer, and answer concisely and honestly. One must remember that the most important thing to bring is confidence—be spontaneous, but allow yourself to think before you talk, and leave a remarkable impression. It might also be good to note that while the interview is a measure to get to know more about you, you should also not forget that this is also a chance for you to get to know about them. Ask questions at the right time, and clarify your doubts—show your interest in the institution and do not be afraid to ask about the work schedule, the work load/arrangement, and the salary and benefits.

When the interview is done, make sure to thank the interviewer. Let them know that you are seriously interested in the job or the institution by asking them when you will be contacted for the results. Should they not call you back within the intended time, you may follow them up. Keep in mind though that interviews are normally structured differently depending on the institution or interviewer, so also make space for unexpected questions or procedures. At the end of the day, what is important is to prepare for what you can, and win them over with your confidence and grace!

Practical Recommendations on Helping De-escalate A Client’s Angry Behavior

Although anger is normal, it is often perceived as a negative feeling. Many people are not comfortable expressing anger directly. Nevertheless, anger can be a normal and healthy reaction when situations or circumstances are unfair or unjust, personal rights are not respected, or realistic expectations are not met. If only the person can express his or her anger assertively, problem solving or conflict resolution then becomes possible. A client’s angry behavior can be very alarming for a nursing assistant since things can get out of control and might cause chaos on the facility as a whole.

Anger becomes negative when the person denies it, suppresses it, or expresses it inappropriately. A person may deny or suppress angry feelings if he or she is uncomfortable expressing anger. Possible consequences are physical problems such as migraine headaches or ulcers and emotional problems such as depression and low self-esteem. Anger that is expressed inappropriately can lead to hostility and aggression. The nurse can help clients express anger appropriately by serving as a model and by role-playing assertive communication techniques. Assertive statements allow appropriate expression of anger and can lead to productive problem-solving discussions and reduced anger.

angry_man4 signs that a client is in a state of being angry:

  1. The anger is vented out either verbally or non-verbally.
  2. The client advances in such as a way that he or she invades your personal space.
  3. The actions seems to be threatening to the others and caregivers.
  4. The eye contact is fierce and the tone of their voice is very different when they are on a calm state.

Hostile and aggressive behavior can be sudden and unexpected. Behavior escalation may lead to physical aggression. Therefore, interventions during the triggering and escalation phases are keys to preventing physically aggressive behavior.

7  practical recommendations on helping de-escalate a client’s angry behavior:

  1. The nurse assistant should approach the client in a calm, nonthreatening manner.
  2. Try to convey empathy for the client’s anger or frustration.
  3. Encourage the client to express his or her feelings verbally or in a constructive way, suggesting that the client is still in control and can maintain that control.
  4. Use clear, simple, short statements when talking to the client.
  5. The nurse should allow the client time to express himself or herself.
  6. The nurse can suggest that the client go to a quiet area or may get assistance to move other clients to decrease stimulation.
  7. Medications can be offered.

When the above steps are unsuccessful in lowering the client’s temper, a plan B must be employed:

  1. The nurse assistant should be directive in giving instructions to the client in a calm, firm voice.
  2. Try to use break periods or “time-out” in order to allow the client to cool down and may realize what he or she is doing might be wrong.
  3. The nurse assistant must recognize that an escalating angry behavior of the patient means that he or she is asking for help. Assist the client to services or needs that might answer his or her angry actions.
  4. With the supervision of a registered nurse, observe and encourage the client to take anti-anxiety medications to calm his or her state.

As a nursing care assistant, remember to be aware of yourself as well as how you may vent out angry feelings so that you can also understand why your patient is in an escalating state of angry behavior. In this manner, you can take control and de-escalate the client’s angry behavior.