The fact that two of the main aspects of a CNA job, time management and organization skills, totally being ignored in the CNA training somewhat confuses, and makes me lament over it. Students who want to learn these skills have to spend extra time and money, since training providers offer it as an extension course. Students are left on their own to learn it on the job. I learned these skills when working as a certified nursing assistant in a hospital. Even after working in the medical field for three years,
I am still not confident in saying that I have mastered prioritizing and organizing CNA work. This is because so many changes suddenly take place in the job. I do not mean to dishearten you by asserting it, but if you are about to join the workforce, it is my duty to let you know that CNAs have to face many things in their jobs each day. Therefore, you should understand how does a CNA prioritize and organize the workday.
The first lesson you must learn while prioritizing and organizing your work is to be prepared for what you are not prepared for. Since I have reminded you about CNAs being exposed to lots of happenings in the facility, things will never go the same each day. Your plan for the day will fall like dry leaves as your shift progressed. Therefore, nursing assistants should always have alternatives to roll back on the track when something is not working.
Since you are more relaxed at your home than your workplace, it is better to make planning for the next day being at the comfort of your home. Before going to the bed, I pen down the activities for tomorrow. As I have already worked today, I have good idea about the patients’ conditions under my care. I even know them by their names. Which person needs what care and what is important in the treatment list becomes easy for me to note it down. Note down their medication schedules, meal type and time, tests and therapy, doctors’ rounds, etc.
The outgoing nurse will inform you about patients’ conditions under your care when you join the shift. She will take you with her for the round and acquaint you about the things you need to take care of. To take handover from the outgoing nurse without in a hurry, most nurses are eager to leave the facility as soon as the shift gets over; I arrive early for my shift. Arriving early for the shift is the best way to learn how busy your schedule is going to be. This way, you can prioritize and organize your workday accordingly.
You will also have to handle discharge and admitting patients in your unit the same day. Patients who are getting discharge are excited. They will keep you asking when they can leave. If your colleague had given them the time of discharge, they will keep nagging you few hours before the scheduled. In that situation, it is better to let them know that billing and other formality such as insurance clearance, etc. will take time, and they have to wait for a couple of hours. Calming down the excited patient can help you in concentrating on your job.
Day shift nursing assistants have additional responsibilities. They have to get patients ready by assisting them in toileting, bath, shaving, washing and grooming. They even have to take patients to the dining hall for breakfast, change the bed sheets, clean and disinfectant the room. While doing all these jobs, you should ensure you are not causing any type of injury to patients or yourself.
When you have done with these activities, the next thing in your planning list is to follow the treatment schedule. Some patients might have an appointment with a doctor, or physiotherapy. You have to arrange to shift them to the respective unit. To move them, you can take help of a wheelchair. Not to forget taking vitals and monitoring patients’ conditions.
If a diabetic patient is under your care, you need to check a blood-sugar level both during the start and at the end of the shift. Other vital signs, such as body temperature, and blood pressure are also important to check. You need to keep an eye on the food intake of patients to ensure they get the required nutrition.
Since CNAs go through a lot of activities each day, it is really a challenging task for them to prioritize and organize the workday. However, with proper planning and time management, you can somehow manage the responsibilities for the workday.