Many nurses started out as CNAs. When they start nursing school, guess what they are faced with? Practicing and being graded on the beginning CNA skills that they feel they already know.
While it may be annoying, as with most long time tasks, if you are totally honest with yourself, think of how you may have slowly slid into bad habits. So it’s a good review if nothing else. Think of it as the easiest part of nursing school you will ever experience.
Others come from non-medical fields and have no clue how to do these CNA skills so those of you hard working CNAs, remember to be kind to your less knowledgeable comrade students.
These procedures incorporate a variety of reasonable and necessary actions including but not limited to:
Some things may, at first, appear foolish to have to re-establish each time you enter a room, but making it a habit means that you no longer actively think about it, you just do it automatically. And it could save your bacon one day.
While asking a patient’s name each time you contact them may cause most patients to raise an eyebrow, it can protect you and them.
All you need is two patients that happen to have similar names to put you on the wrong side of things if you accidentally mix them up. Work gets hectic when you are a nurse. Don’t underestimate how distracted you can get when you are stressed.
As a home care nurse I learned to begin each visit the same way:
“Hi, my name is Linda, I’m your home care nurse today. And you are…??”
They give me their name (for the 50th time!)
“Thanks! And your date of birth is…?”
As I am putting down my nurse’s bag on a clean surface, I pull out my hand sanitizer from the outside pocket and I apply some to my hands, saying:
“Just a little hand sanitizer to clean my hands for you. So, anything new since the nurse was here last?” (Since I filled in prn (as needed) for case managers, I usually wasn’t the nurse that visited the last time.)
“Let’s start with some vital signs. I’ll take your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and I’ll check your heart and lungs. Is that OK with you?”
I don’t have to think about that little script any more it just comes out of my mouth without thinking. It is the same thing for every patient every time. After that, the visit is adjusted to the patient’s needs.
So let’s get started.