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Is the Whole Nurse Aide Gig Getting Old?

Feel like you’re in a rut?

Is the whole Nurse Aide gig getting old?

Nursing home work is definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s hard work. The work is extraordinarily strenuous and carries one of the nation’s highest on-the-job injury rates.

Maybe you’ve forgotten why you even stepped foot into that CNA class last year/decade/century. Perhaps it was because you have a loved one in a long term care facility. Or you have a passion to help the elderly. Or help people in general. Maybe you just wanted a recession proof career.

No matter the reason, it’s time to step back and re-evaluate your attitude and your work environment. Here is a list of ways to jump start your day and put a little spark in your step:

Take joy in providing personal care for your residents. It is one of the most important roles of the nursing assistant. Whether the care is only to assist the resident or to do all the personal care for the resident, NAs will spend most of their time doing these tasks.

Offer emotional support – Any big change in lifestyle, such as moving into a nursing home, requires a huge emotional adjustment. Residents experience fear, loss, and uncertainty with their decline in health and independence. Be supportive and encouraging. Be patient, understanding, and empathic.

Listen carefully – be attentive. Be a good communicator. When your resident is talking to you about concerns or an experience from the past, listen. And ACT as if you’re listening. Look into the resident’s eyes and use your body language to reiterate your listening.

Be compassionate. Remember why you wanted to work as a Nurse’s Aide. Treat each person as if they are a part of your family.

Keep your absences to a minimum. Being absent from work creates hardships and on your peers and supervisors. It also confuses residents when their schedule is disrupted by having someone different at bedtime or wake up time.

Keep your promises. If you promise a resident a special item, action or time, keep your word. Same goes for your peers and supervisors. Doing what you say you’re going to do keeps everyone happy and makes you a respected worker.

Complete your tasks on time and without complaint. Complaining and whining in the workplace is a big no-no. If you have legitimate concerns, make an appointment with your supervisor to discuss your concern. Don’t talk to your co-workers about complaints. Especially don’t talk to the residents about them!

Perform tasks that need to be done without being told. Granted, not many of us have “down time” during our shift. If you do, be sure and help out where you’re needed. If you don’t know where you’re needed – ASK!

Be a team worker with a “get along” attitude. Be the motivator, not the downer. Encourage your co-workers and residents! A good attitude goes a long way in creating a peaceful and stress free work environment.

Ask if you need help. It’s better to ask and receive help if you don’t know how to do something or physically can’t do something. In the long run, you could be saving yourself or a resident an injury.

Do your feet a favor and invest in a comfortable pair of shoes appropriate for your facility. It will give you more energy during your shift and you won’t be near as tired when you get home.

Take care of yourself. Eat right, exercise and de-stress with some time to yourself. 10 minutes of yoga or meditation before bed is a good way to start.

Check out some other support areas online. Here’s two sites/blogs I like to read and refer to: My Better Nursing Home and Nursingassistants.net
Smile. You’re much more approachable and pleasant when a smile is on your face. Besides, who has the energy to waste frowning?

Using these steps can help put you back on the road to enjoying your job as a CNA! Keep up the good work. It takes someone extra special to do your job – hence, YOU ARE SPECIAL!

Be sure and comment if you have any other good ideas to add to this list!

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