While becoming a CNA requires the completion of a formal program that typically involves both classroom work and clinical experience, becoming an outstanding nursing assistant requires much more.
To be an outstanding CNA, you must have exceptional interpersonal skills.
You must be able to look people directly in the eyes (this includes both patient and family members), have a pleasant disposition (no matter what might be going on in your personal life or what may have happened during your visit with a previous patient), and be able to speak clearly and confidently.
Whether you are caring for patients in a nursing home, a hospital, or private residence, your ability to interact with them (and their loved ones) in a pleasant and professional manner will set you apart from all the other CNAs.
An outstanding CNA is compassionate. While being kind, empathetic, and gentle in the care and treatment of a patient would seem to be a requirement for this very special profession, it is only with the truly outstanding CNAs that these traits are evident consistently—day after day—patient after patient.
Of all the medical professionals who interact with patients, it is the CNA who provides the type of ongoing, personal, and physical care of bathing, cleansing, and repositioning.
Compassionate CNAs wholeheartedly understand and acknowledge that the people in their care are unique individuals with their own life stories, experiences, dreams, fears, and thoughts—they are not faceless and emotionless appointments on a schedule or the day’s round of routine visits.
Never Share Confidential Information
An outstanding CNA never shares confidential information about other patients and never talks negatively about their colleagues or their job.
Although it may seem hard not to get caught up in the chatter that often goes on in the workplace, an outstanding CNA makes it a point never to be a part of it—either as a listener or a contributor.
As a result, a patient and his/her family members never hear about the personal medical challenges of other clients or the frustrations the CNA may feel about his/her job.
Be a Student of Life
To become an outstanding CNA, you need to be a student of life. Outstanding CNAs enjoy learning new things on a regular basis—especially related to their field.
It’s easy to spot the outstanding CNA at a skilled care facility; he/she is the one who takes the initiative to learn and teach others how to operate the facility’s jet-powered spa/bathtub for the residents safely.
He/she is the one who not only knows how to use the different types of Hoyers but also how and when it’s time to recharge the battery on a Hoyer so that it never runs out of power while in use!
Be a Team Player
In addition to great communication skills, being compassionate, respecting others’ personal information and individuality, and learning new things, an outstanding CNA is a team player.
He/she is the “go-to” person that everyone else can always count on for help. Outstanding CNAs don’t sit back and wait for a colleague to ask for help, they offer it readily.
If they see a patient’s call light on and are free, they’ll joyfully see if they can be of assistance.
Although many outstanding CNAs are just naturally phenomenal individuals who take pride in their work and are humbled by their gift of being able to be of service to others, it is possible to learn to become an outstanding CNA—you simply need to surround yourself with outstanding CNAs and treat others as you would like to be treated.
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