CNA skills include both clinical and management skills. Job of a certified nursing assistant is not just to carry out different tasks but to carry them in an accurate manner within a stipulated time period. They have to be on their toes all the time and work with extreme sincerity and dedication. Even a small mistake or negligence can cost dearly in future. Thus, being thorough with the basic skills is extremely necessary to build a stable career in the field.
Types of Skills
To bag good CNA jobs, you should be able to perform your tasks based on the two main forms of skills – basic and advanced.
It includes basic activities like changing bed linens, keeping patient's room tidy, and looking after hygiene issues of the patient. Hygiene issues can be of different types depending upon the age and physical condition of the patient. A certified nursing assistant may be required to perform activities like cutting nails, combing hair, changing dress, or even bathing a patient if need arises. At times, she is also required to assist him to commode.
Some of the other basic skills include giving appropriate medical dosage to a patient at regular intervals, measuring his weight and/or height, shifting him from bed to a stretcher or a wheelchair and vice-versa whenever necessary, and turning him from one position to another as per the requirements.
Keeping track of dietary pattern of the patient is another important duty of an assistant. Most of the patients are given specific instructions regarding ingredients to be included in their regular diet and diet timings. It is the duty of the assistant to ensure that the patient consumes right food intake at the right time and do not violate instructions given by respective doctors or licensed nursed. At times, patients tend to ignore medical advices regarding diet pattern due to loss of taste caused by heavy medication. To discharge the task successfully, an assistant must possess the skill of convincing the patient to eat on time without any necessity of reminding time and again.
Having good communication abilities also falls within the scope of the basic skills. Being the most important middlemen between a doctor and a patient, an assistant must develop a very good rapport with the patient and inquire about his concerns from time to time. It encourages the patient to be frank and open in sharing problems and eases the task of hospital management to alter treatment patterns wherever needed.
Such skills are usually possessed by or expected from senior and experienced assistants. Some of their general duties include monitoring heart-beat rate, checking internal or external bleeding and reporting the same to senior authorities, and constantly monitoring pulse rate and blood pressure of the patient. Some of the assistants may also provide a helping hand in supervising operation theater management and keeping a track of the essential goods and services required therein. Some may also play an active role in the theater during surgeries by assisting surgeons in several ways.
Most of the senior certified nursing assistants are posted in sensitive areas like intensive care unit and intensive cardiac care unit. Thus, they have to be very prompt and accurate in taking decisions without requiring much briefing from their seniors. They are also expected to handle emergency situations till the time a senior physician or a licensed nurse at the scene. Hence, possessing necessary advanced skills becomes inevitable when a certified assistant reaches a senior position in her career.
How to Enhance your Skills?
How to become a CNA if you are weak on the skills? Working with a clinic or hospital as an intern in early phases of career can be highly beneficial in learning basic skills early and executing them with ease. As the scope of work is quite large, one needs to be a constant learner and a good observer. Taking guidance form senior doctors or experienced nurses can train you well about the necessary precautionary measures one should take while handling a patient. This will also prepare you mentally to handle the challenges you may face as a part of your profession.
Be interactive and enthusiast while taking your CNA course. Try to explore as much areas as possible and stress more on practical knowledge. You can personally visit a few hospitals and see how the assistants actually function. This will help you to get over your drawbacks and enhance abilities to handle tasks within stipulated time.
Be very thorough with theoretical aspects of the profession as they will definitely help you in applying logic while doing your duty. It will also boost your confidence in taking right decisions and executing them efficiently. Good management is an inevitable part of a certified nursing assistant's career. Thus, be particular and systematic in your work.
CNA skills get sharpened with time. Focus on maximum accuracy and do not assume things unnecessarily. Take guidance form your seniors wherever necessary and avoid being negligent to patient's concerns.