When you work in any professional environment, there are various professional outlooks you must adopt. While your mental outlook regarding your work is vital when it comes to sustaining professional performance, in the realm of certified nursing assistants there are several specific qualities you must strive for. Of course, the final outlooks you must adopt will vary based upon your employer and standing within the medical team, as a CNA you must follow several established guidelines to retain the respect of your peers.
CNA Essentials: Your Appearance
In the realities of nursing, it may seem that your appearance is rather dull. While you can’t wear the latest designer trends while on the floor, how you appear plays a direct role in how nurses, physicians and patients view your capabilities. The truth of the matter – your appearance is one of the most important aspects of gaining the respect and trust of those you work for and with. As a general guideline, always make sure:
- Uniforms are not wrinkled or stained. Dirty uniforms are not only visually unattractive, but if they’re soiled by patient fluids or other contaminants you could accidentally spread infections or germs to other staff and patients.
- Avoid wearing strong scented perfumes, body washes or deodorants. Due to the various allergies and sensitivities of your co-workers and patients, it’s essential that you avoid strong fragrances. Wear fragrance-free deodorant and avoid spraying cologne or perfume while on the job.
- Keep your makeup simple. This is not a time or place to get all “dolled up.” Along the same lines, keep your nails trimmed. Avoid wearing artificial nails as they are difficult to clean and can accidentally spread infections to patients.
CNA Essentials: Your Work Ethic
While this is one of the most common sense aspects of conducting yourself in a professional manner, far too many CNAs drop the ball when it comes to establishing and maintaining a proper work ethic. According to CNACertification Scoop these are the guidelines you should follow:
- Confirm all shifts prior to the scheduled day. Due to the constant staffing changes hospitals and other large medical clinics see, confirmation of your scheduled shifts is necessary.
- Arrive at least 15 minutes early to every shift. This is especially important when working in hospitals. In order to get “up to speed” with your patients and the current activity, you’ll likely need to spend extra time reading documents and discussing your daily duties with the charge nurse. It’s best to do this before you’re expected to deal with patients to ensure your time on the clock is well-spent.
- Strive to maintain the highest level of honesty – even when you must admit to a mistake. One of the hardest things for CNAs to admit is a mistake that jeopardized the treatment or comfort of a patient. Instead of trying to cover up your mistakes, immediately notify your supervising nurse or physician. The sooner you call attention to a mistake, the faster it may be rectified. This could mean the world of difference in regards to the comfort and safety of a patient.
Once you have these CNA essentials down, you will see how your colleagues notice and respect your professionalism and work ethic.