No matter what kind of job you have, safety is always an issue, for both you and your employer. If you work as a certified nursing assistant, then there are some special safety considerations that you need to adhere to. Prepare yourself and protect your safety by keeping these five safety tips for certified nursing assistants in mind:
Back safety. The work you do as a certified nursing assistant puts a lot of strain on your back. It is important to protect your back from injury so that you can avoid someday needing the care of a certified nursing assistant, yourself. Remember always to bend at the knees – not at the waist – and not to do any heavy lifting without assistance. If you’re not sure about proper technique, find out how to do it properly as soon as possible. Also, when you are not working, make it a point to stretch your back muscles regularly, and to do exercises that strengthen both your back muscles and your core (abdomen), which is responsible for supporting your back.
Protection from germs and illness. Wash your hands every time after you handle a patient. Also, carry hand sanitizer with you at all times, and use it regularly. You can even spread hand sanitizer on your face and neck, in order to protect yourself from a lot of common germs and avoid sickness.
Dangerous patients. As a certified nursing assistant, it is likely that you will at some point care for elderly patients with dementia. These patients can become combative and physically abusive, and it is important that you know how to protect yourself. Your best bet if a patient has that sort of outburst is to do your best to ensure the patient is in a safe place, and then distance yourself from the patient and get help. If you work in a facility where there are patients who are known to become physically resistant, then it is a good idea to recruit another CNA to help you when you must handle those particular patients.
Work related stress. Stress can seriously affect you, to the point of making you physically ill, and certified nursing assistants are exposed to a variety of stressors. Protect your safety when it comes to stress by taking measures outside of work to relax, and by handling stressful situations on the job promptly, with a qualified supervisor.
Protective gear. Ensure your safety on the job by making sure you always have immediate access to protective gear like gloves, face masks, and eye guards.
As a certified nursing assistant, you will inevitably be exposed to a variety of safety risks. Do what you can to hedge these risks by following these five simple tips.