Conflict Resolutions With Patients

During your CNA career you will doubtless encounter a difficult patient or two. In fact, studies show that more than 15% of encounters with a patient will be considered difficult by the medical professional. Medical staff often take on the mantra: “Conflict is neither good nor bad, it just is.” The reason for this motto is that when put in a working atmosphere with so many different circumstances and personalities, conflict is bound to happen. It is what you do about it that makes all the difference.

Why Conflicts Arise
You likely received training for these issues in your classes, but when it comes to difficult patients, conflict can come in all different forms such as difficult family members, outspoken or differing values, differing opinions with regards to care and expectations, down to simple miscommunications.

The Damages It Brings
While “sharing” often denotes a caring, beneficial relationship between parties, sharing in a conflict is a whole other story. While it’s true that some level of conflict may actually be healthy; either party allowing said conflict to climax will only cause discomfort and anger. Common expressions of conflict from patients include threats, intimidation, aggressive behavior, the “silent treatment”, family involvement, and refusal to co-operate. All of these behaviors add to a stressful, uncomfortable, and difficult work situation.

What To Do About Nurse-Patient Conflicts
It’s important to know how to handle yourself when a patient conflict arises. Do your utmost to understand why and what your patient is having issues with. The better you understand your patient’s needs, the more capable you will be of fixing the problem. Avoid playing the blame game.

While a disgruntled patient may know just how to push your buttons, you would never want to do anything to make them equally as uncomfortable, such as blaming them for the problem, insisting there is nothing wrong with them, telling them nothing can be done for their ailments, or raising your voice.

Instead of letting your emotions get the better of you, try taking active steps towards correcting the problem. Listen to your patient’s needs, be agreeable, and acknowledge their troubling situation. Knowing that their thoughts and frustrations are being respected is often all it takes to quell an angry conflict. Exercise your ability to apologize; this will let your patient know you care about their feelings.

Also when possible, be sure to let your patient know what is going on with their treatment; oftentimes patient conflict comes from the patient’s own stress over their condition and may have nothing personally to do with you.

The nurse patient relationship is sacred, and while frustrations may arise from both parties every now and again, it is important to always make your patient feel welcome and cared for. Always do your best to manage uncomfortable situations with class, charm, and tact, that you may soon resume your peaceful, caring relationship with your patient.

Creating A Work/Life Balance For CNAs

Have you ever heard the saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?” This saying applies to most avenues of life, and your career as a CNA is no different. Now that you have your dream career as a Certified Nursing Assistant you may find yourself so immersed in your job that you have little time to even think about anything else, including your home life.

Creating that perfect work-life balance is an absolute necessity for maintaining a happy demeanor both mentally and physically. Your training and CNA classes well-prepared you for a myriad of job-related situations and circumstances, but odds are it didn’t prepare you for the juggling act of work-life balance brought on by stress and burnout. With only a few simple steps, improving your work-life balance is easier than you might think.

Be Honest With Yourself
It is impossible to create a new routine for a work-life balance if you’re not honest with yourself about what the problem is. If you feel like your work is taking over your home life and personal responsibilities, make a list and start to assign a percentage to different areas in your life that are taking up the most time. Once your list is complete, start reevaluating what should take priority. Your nursing career is of the utmost importance, but so is your family.

When You’re Home, You’re Off The Clock
For many people to create a balanced lifestyle it’s integral to leave your work-self at your front door. While it’s hard to forget about patients and circumstances going on in your career, your family and friends need you, too. Create a new mindset. When you’re at home, you’re off the clock.

Create A Date Night, Family Night, Or Day Out With Friends
Once a week you’ll pick a day off and devote it entirely to your partner, your family, or your friends, and give them your complete attention for the whole day/evening. This is just as important to your well-being and enjoyment as is it to your friends and family. The nursing field can be a stressful place to work, so enjoy your downtime with friends and foster the relationships that make you feel good.

Take Time For Yourself
You are a CNA – you help people, you help change the worlds of those around you, but it’s important to remember that your job does not define you as a whole. Whether it’s before or after work, be sure to take some time for yourself doing something you like to do. Focus on your passions, be it meditation, working out, Sudoku, or playing an instrument. It’s important not to forget your personal self while enjoying your new career as a CNA.

CNA Jobs: What To Look For In An Employer

It used to be that as a nurse or nurse’s assistant you couldn’t open a newspaper or scroll through online job boards without bumping into myriads of career opportunities in the medical field. Private and public sectors were both consistently on the hunt for registered nurses and CNA’s freshly out of classes to land the role of responsibility. In recent years, however, it seems that employers are giving nurses less and less of what they want. So what should a CNA be looking for when it comes to employers?

1. Leadership
By being a good leader your employer will be able to keep his staff happy and respectful. Your employer should know how to take charge without being overbearing. Your employer should be willing to listen to all staff members when in need, and show genuine appreciation to everyone under his employment.

2. A Great Work Environment
The upbeat attitude you bring to work will have an effect on everyone around you. When looking for employment you’ll want to find an environment you’re going to be comfortable in. Interact with the medical staff, patients, and your employer to ensure the best chemistry possible.

3. Flexibility
If you’re looking for a 9-5 job, nursing is definitely out of the question. No matter whether you work in a hospital or in a private home, shift work is essential to caring for your patient’s needs and well being – but sometimes personal responsibilities may get in the way of your work schedule. In these times as a CNA you’re going to want an employer who is understanding, and will offer flexibility when it comes to switching your shifts in the case of a personal emergency.

4. Stability
In a profession that now has higher turn-over rates than usual, you’re going to want a job that offers stability. You trained long and hard in your CNA classes and you are going to want an employer who understands you have financial responsibilities, too, and deserve a stable work schedule.

5. A Fantastic Retirement Plan
It’s never too early to start planning for your retirement. Before you accept your new placement as a CNA, you’re going to want to check into your wages, benefits, and retirement plan offered. Many US retirements plans are shrinking. If this is important to you then you’ll want to find an appropriate time to bring this up with your employer.

6. Respect
While extremely rewarding, nursing is no easy job, as millions of nurses worldwide can attest to. As a nurse you are constantly on your feet caring for other’s needs, with both your physical and emotional energy on the line. As a nurse you’re going to want someone who appreciates you and shows you the respect you deserve as a professional.

CNA Bedside Manner Tactics

As a CNA, doctor, nurse, or for those with other medical assistant careers, the way you treat others will say a lot about your character. Having a well-adjusted bedside manner is an important part of your patient relationship, almost as important as the training you took to get you where you are now. A “bedside manner” is the attitude in which you approach your patient’s wants, needs, questions and concerns.

When choosing a CNA as a career, a well-adjusted bedside manner is an important skill to have, as it determines how your patient will interact with you and how comfortable they will feel telling you necessary and personal details – but it isn’t always easy. Developing a bedside manner can take years of experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start practicing now. Here are 5 ways to practice bedside manner tactics.

1. Be engaging and offer attention when you can

As a CNA, your attention may be divided to a dozen different patients all within an hour. While this may seem overwhelming, and perhaps even impossible to be the most charming version of yourself 12 separate times, in time you’ll adapt to life as a CNA and learn small ways to make the most of your time with your patients. For example, asking your patient open-ended questions will draw them out of their shell and show them that you’re keeping them in mind. Also, be sure to use their name every time you see them. Showing your patients you remember them will make them feel like more than just a number.

2. To a Patient, the little things matter

Even though your patient is in your care, you still need to be respectful of their privacy. If there are other patients sharing the same room as yours, make sure their curtain is drawn, especially if they are in a state of undress. Asking your patient if they need anything can go a long way. Simply grabbing them a glass of water, fluffing their pillows, adjusting their covers, and paying close attention to any colostomy bag issues they may be having will show them that they are care about.

3. Have something positive to say

For a patient it can be very trying to stay cooped up; boredom and depression can easily creep in, especially if they do not receive visitors. Coming into your patient’s room with a smile and a positive expression can turn their entire day around.

4. Don’t be judgemental

To some people it is very easy to judge a book by its cover. However, your CNA classes will tell you it is your job to approach each patient professionally and without prejudice in order to make them feel comfortable.

5. Exercise Patience

Much like forcing yourself to have empathy and compassion, showing patience can sometimes be challenging. Dealing with patients day-in and day-out can be both tiring and frustrating, making your natural desire to be empathetic seem dulled over time. Still, you would never want to make your patient, who is already suffering from a matter, feel like they are an added bother to you.  Show empathy by getting to know your patient and learning about their lives and why they are here. Many medical professionals find it works well to imagine this person as a member of your own family. How would you feel if your grandmother was in the same position as your patient, and how would you like them to be treated?

Life as a CNA can get hectic, and while you may be tired, you should never ignore the buzzer of a patient in need. Medical stays are usually a trying time for a patient, so try to remember that showing your patient a compassionate and positive attitude will go a long way during their stay, and will reflect well on both you and your workplace.