When you’re a new nurse, CNA, or LPN, it takes time to learn the ropes. It pays to befriend a seasoned coworker who can give you guidance and teach you a few hacks. We asked some of our long-term nurses, CNAs and LPN for some of their tips and tricks, and some of them are absolutely genius!
Here are just a few:
- Pick your words wisely. When it comes to working with patients, especially aging adults who want their independence, it’s important to get your job done while giving them space. Instead of asking a patient “if” they would like to do something, ask them “when” they would like to do it. This gives them autonomy without a power struggle.
- Prevent slippage. When laying out dishware, put rubber shelf liner underneath to keep “slippable” items in place. You also want to make sure you buy comfortable shoes with slip-resistant soles to prevent injury.
- Get moving. Movement is important for you and your patients. Take time to move your body in a mindful way (not just running from patient to patient!), either with yoga, dance, or just walking. As for your patients, make movement part of their morning routine. After basic care is complete, take them for a walk or help them move their bodies within their capacity.
- Keep your eyes on your own plate. Workplace drama is tempting and addictive, but it can cause major problems for you. Avoid gossip and cliquishness and try to be friendly and helpful to everyone.
- Talk TO your patients, not ABOUT them. No matter what condition your patient has, every person wishes to feel seen and acknowledged. If there is an issue, discuss it with the patient (as advised by your supervisors). Speaking about them to others in front of them is disrespectful and lowers their trust and confidence in you. Give them the respect they deserve by talking to them as you would to anyone else.