Being a Nursing Assistant is a very rewarding career for those who choose to enter the medical field with a thirst for knowledge and a dedication to helping others. Your Nursing Assistant course, clinicals, and trainings often don’t prepare you for precautions you need to take. Most employers don’t either. Therefore it is the responsibility of every Nursing Assistant to learn about them on their own.
One of the hardest parts of being a Nursing Assistant is taking direction from many other staff on the medical team. They are to report directly to the Nursing staff. It is not uncommon for each Nurse to have a slightly different way they want things to be done. This makes the job of the Nursing Assistant even more challenging. You need to be willing to stand up for yourself and the other Nursing Assistants.
If this type of issue is ongoing in the medical facility you work at, go to the charge Nurse. Explain why the changes among the Nursing staff are confusing and counter productive. Most charge Nurses will look into the situation, and help put policies, procedures, and trainings into place so that all staff knows exactly how something needs to be done.
Nursing Assistants are often required to life patients while bathing, dressing, or even getting them ready to go eat. It is important that you are properly trained in this procedure, or you can injury your back or other body parts. You also run the risk of causing injury to the patient. Since medical facilities are often short staffed, Nursing Assistants try to lift patients alone when they know they are to have a partner assist them. This is dangerous to your health, to your patient, and to your job security. Never cut corners on such practices no matter how much time they save you.
Communicable diseases are very important to avoid as a Nursing Assistance. You will likely be trained in communicable diseases both in your Nursing Assistant training and your employment orientation. However, it is important to remember that most communicable diseases are spread through bodily fluids. No matter how tight your time schedule is, if you find a patient has soiled their clothing or bed, make sure you use rubber gloves, clean the area properly including using a disinfectant, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. This will help reduce you risk of infection from communicable diseases.
Many patients who require the care of a Nursing Assistant don’t want it. This can lead to a variety of feelings including depression, being upset, anger, and hatred. Often, this mix of feelings gets released onto the Nursing Assistant. You may find yourself receiving verbal abuse and sometimes physical abuse from patients as a result. It is very important that you deal with this type of situation immediately. For verbal abuse, tell the patient you understand they are upset but that you are there to help them with… then proceed to tell them what you will be assisting with. Leave the room if they continue to be in that state of mind. Report the incident according to your employer’s policies.
Physical abuse is more dangerous than emotional abuse. Patients need to understand that it will not be tolerated under any circumstances. If you have to defend yourself, yell for help or call out a code word according to your employer’s policies. It is vital that you report any incident of physical abuse immediately to your supervisor. Document the incident including what took place, the type of physical abuse, and any self defense holds or moves you did to protect yourself. This becomes important if the patient later claims you abused them.
Avoiding burnout is another key area for Nursing Assistants to be aware of. This is the result of continually feeling overwhelmed by your job duties. The medical field ranks number one in the area of job burnout. It is important that you pay attention to burnout and these other precautions. This will enable you to further enjoy your employment as a Nursing Assistant.