5 Strategies That Will Help You Through A 12-Hour Shift

In the healthcare industry, there are certain jobs that have certain requirements. Unfortunately, jobs that are designed to provide 24-hour care, like nursing, are usually broken down into two 12 hour shifts to maintain the requirement of available care.

While there is a high demand for nursing care staff, you also have to keep in mind that there is a high turn-over rate, especially among the certified nursing assistant profession. This is mainly due to the long hours endured almost on a daily basis which can ultimately cause a nursing assistant to feel burned out.

So, what exactly can a certified nursing assistant do to help make it through a long 12-hour shift and not feel burned out? Below, we have a few strategies that will not only prepare you before you start work but also throughout your shift too.

Sleep Sleep Sleep
Not only does your body need sleep, but it is detrimental if you expect to make it through the shift. If you know you are about to tackle a 12-hour shift, you should give yourself at least 9 hours of undisturbed slumber. This can be accomplished by having your bedroom as dark as possible and plan for a couple extra hours to ensure you are fully rested for the long shift.

Snack Throughout Your Shift
Not only will snacking keep you energized throughout your shift, but it will keep you awake as well. Every time you move your body it uses energy and your body needs to be awake to move. So every time you take a bite of a snack you are using and replacing energy at the same time. This is a win-win during a long 12-hour shift. You can easily keep simple snacks like a granola bar or assorted nuts in your scrub pockets.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Just as important as sleep, keeping hydrated throughout your 12-hour shift is detrimental for your body. This means drinking at least 1 glass for every hour you work. This will ensure that you keep hydrated. But keep in mind, what you take in you will also need to let out so it is wise to just slowly sip water so your body will absorb more and lessen your amount of breaks to use the restroom.

Prevent Boredom
Downtime can be a killer when working a long 12-hour shift. This can cause you to feel extremely bored during your shift and ultimately tired as well. So what can help alleviate the feeling of boredom during a 12-hour shift? For starters, administrative duties are a part of the nursing assistant’s job description, so go ahead and tackle all of the extra filing and organizing of patient charts. After you’re done with that take a walk around your assigned area and make a list of supplies that you can restock. The main point of all of this is to keep yourself busy and active at work.

Take A Daily Vitamin
Working a long 12-hour shift can take a lot out of you. Because of this, taking a multi-vitamin prior to your shift will allow your body to receive the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your body and mind charged throughout your shift.

Besides keeping your body and mind sharp, taking a multivitamin also helps to reduce the amount of stress that a 12-hour shift could cause. If the off going shift explains that they had a stressful shift, then you can expect to have the same for your shift. But if you take a multivitamin then your chances of stress will be decreased tremendously and your mind will remain sharp and focused for the duration of your shift.

This is why it is important to start your shift positively and end it positively. Not only for your benefit, but for the benefit of others around you as well as your coworkers.

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Why Certified Nursing Assistant Careers are Important

Certified Nursing assistants continue to be in high demand with solid career prospects that will continue to grow with an aging population. A CNA career places course graduates in an important place on any medical team. A great CNA helps not only medical doctors, nurses and other medical staff, but patients as well. A career in the medical field sees certified nursing assistants in a variety of roles within a medical department or nursing team. The role will continue to grow tremendously, showing a 20% increase in demand for CNA’s through 2020, which is over 300,000 new jobs!

A certified nursing assistant doesn’t require post-secondary education and their salaries are projected to continue to grow by 19%. There are six things you need to know about why you should begin an exciting journey into the medical field by becoming a certified nursing assistant.

1. Training is quick and seamless
Training for a career in certified nursing assistant care won’t take years, in fact in most states course training to become an assistant can be completed within 4 to 12 weeks which is broken down into contract hours and clinical practice. Once the parts are finalized, United States Federal law also requires new assistants to complete an additional 75 hours of hands on training after which a new CNA can become their new career. One great way to prepare for certification as an assistant is taking or reviewing a CNA practice test that are available online and in bookstores that will show some of the duties expected of a new assistant.

2. Training to become a certified assistant is affordable
The investment in becoming an assistant is cost effective starting at around $1,200. Once the initial training, as been completed, a training examination is required which costs between $115 to $125 dollars with some small fees for licensing, vaccinations, criminal background checks, etc. But, be aware that full costs depend on the state and area that training is performed in.

3. Big Job sector choice and flexibility
Because medical careers are projected to continue to experience rapid growth, a career in certified nursing assisting allows assistants to work in various nursing assistant sectors such as retirement centers to large metropolitan hospitals while also enjoying hours flexibility that can allow an assistant to hours they need and like.

4. Find a job anywhere
Certified nursing assistants are in high demand and even if they need to relocate, as long as they have current certification they can find a new position anywhere.

5. Great pay
A CNA career provides new assistants with a great salary without a college degree where training can be completed in six to twelve weeks that leads to an opening median salary of $24,000.

6. A great lead-in to becoming a licensed nurse
Working as a certified nursing assistant can lead to becoming a solid candidate to entering an accelerated program to train as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

With so many great benefits, it is easy to understand why becoming a certified nursing assistant is a great career move. So, whether you’ve always desired to experience a career in nursing or you’re seeking a new career path you owe it to yourself to discover the benefits of becoming certified nursing assistant because you’ll be glad you did!

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Five Strategies for Getting Through that Twelve Hour Shift

No matter how much you love your job, enduring a twelve hour shift is never an easy thing to do. With the increase in competition among desired career fields, the likelihood that you will eventually have to work long hours has greatly increased in the recent years. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help prepare your body and your mind for the long hours at work. Here are five great strategies to help you get through a twelve hour shift.

Eat Regularly
It is very important to keep a constant supply of energy flowing through your body, especially if you are very busy during your shift. Instead of eating one large meal that can weigh you down and make you feel tired afterwards, it is better to graze lightly throughout your shift. Keep health snacks such as granola bars, yogurt, assorted nuts, and raw fruit with you, and try to remember to eat something small once every half an hour. This will keep you energized throughout your long shift.

Stay Hydrated
Our bodies require at least eight glasses of water a day to function at an optimal level, and a long shift is no time to neglect this. Sip slowly on water throughout your shift to keep your body hydrated and your mind alert. Slowly drinking the water will help your body to absorb it better and will decrease the number of bathroom breaks you need to take.

Keep Busy
The worse thing that can happen during a long shift is to have a lot of down time. The less you have to do, the more bored you will be, and the more tired you will become. If there is no actual work to be done, look for busy work to do around the work environment. Organizing folders, restocking supplies, and cleaning appliances are all great ways to keep your hands busy and mind active while at work. They might not be the most interesting tasks you have ever done, but it will be much better than having nothing to do at all.

Get Plenty of Rest
The day and night before a long shift should be devoted to preparing your body for the next day. Eat several healthy meals to help your body stock up on nutrients, and make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Eliminating distractions while sleeping by turning off the TV, closing the windows and blinds, and asking anyone living with you not to disturb you after you have gone to bed. If possible, go to bed a couple hours early to get some additional rest before your long shift.

Take Supplements
If you have a job where you are frequently required to work long shifts, it is a very good idea to take a daily multi-vitamin. This will make sure that you are still getting adequate nutrition even if you are not eating regular meals. Multi-vitamins will also help to increase your mental focus and decrease lethargy when taken on a regular basis. Even more importantly, they will help to prevent you from getting sick if you work in a healthcare environment where you are frequently around people who are ill.

It is very important to enter every twelve hour shift with a positive mindset and a good attitude, otherwise you will not only be making the experience unpleasant for yourself, but you will also be making it unpleasant for those you have to work with. If you follow these strategies for getting through a long shift, you will not only find the long hours easier, but also more enjoyable.

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Before Applying to CNA School, You Need to Meet These Requirements

So, you’ve thought about it and you are seriously considering becoming a certified nursing assistant or a CNA. The saying goes, knowing is half the battle. Well, now that you know that you want to become a CNA, you are probably wondering what exactly are the requirements to become one. CNAs right now are in high demand. As the US population explodes and more baby boomers are going into retirement and living in assisted living facilities, CNAs are in high demand to meet such growing needs. Here are five things you must do in order to get into an accredited CNA program.

Have a HS diploma or a GED
First and foremost, all accredited CNA programs are going to require prospective candidates to have at least a high school diploma or a GED. Without this, you are more than likely not going to get into an accredited program. Even if you end up enrolling in an accredited program, more than likely it is not sanctioned by the State in which you live. If you end up enrolling in an unaccredited program, you more than likely won’t be allowed to take the state licensing exam. Having a HS diploma or GED is by far the one of the most important nursing assistant requirements.

Have a clean background
Before you start looking for accredited CNA programs, another thing you should do is make sure that you have a clean background. Most, if not all hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities that hire CNAs will not hire those who have major felonies or misdemeanors. By law, most healthcare facilities will have strict regulations on allow convicted felons and others from assisting in providing healthcare services to patients in fear of individuals inflicting harm and pain onto people. If you have any issues with your background, consult with a lawyer to see if there is a possibility you can get your background expunged.

Complete Math & Reading Competency Exams
Some accredited CNA programs will require that prospective applicants also complete pre-program math and reading tests. This is done to ensure that candidates meet a certain level of reading comprehension and math competency. Despite that being a CNA is not as difficult as being a nurse, CNAs still have to interact with doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and other on-site medical professionals who expect a high caliber of comprehension and understanding of medical procedures and instructions. However, don’t be scared. These tests tend to be very basic, but you might consider brushing up on your math and reading skills before taking these tests.

Check for financial aid and tuition assistance
The last thing you want to do before enrolled in an accredited CNA program is to not have a solid way of paying for it. While it may not be as expensive as getting a bachelor’s or master’s degree, it’s always good to check with the school to see if any forms of financial assistance, scholarships or financial aid is offered to students. The less debt you have, the better off you will be.

Get CPR certified
Most accredited programs will require that prospective students be CPR certified before the start of the program. CPR certification will go over the basics of CPR for infants, children and adults. You will also learn other basic life saving techniques such as the Heimlich Maneuver. Again, this shouldn’t be something stress about because CPR courses can be done within a day.

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Four Personal Qualities that Make a Great Caregiver

There are some sicknesses and disabilities that require patients to have a lot of one-one-one care. While this situation is common in elderly people, it can strike at any age. Some people are born with congenital disabilities, and require care all of their lives.

It is not easy to be a caregiver—especially if it is a loved one. Many people have deteriorating health and depend on spouses or adult children to care for them. Even with the best of relationships, caregiving can be burdensome and can strain the relationship. Some families still choose to keep their loved ones at home instead of putting them in a nursing facility.

If you are hiring a personal caregiver, there are some important characteristics to take into consideration. These traits are also imperative if you plan to do the job. Your loved one deserves the best of care. Here are some nursing assistant personal qualities needed for private or family care:

Continue reading

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Three Secrets to Being a Great Certified Nursing Assistant

You’ve put in the hours studying. You aced clinicals and the tests. Now, you are a certified nursing assistant. However, you want to be the best certified nursing assistant that you can be. Here are three secrets that will help you:

Empathy
Knowing all of the proper techniques to transfer a patient and how to change a bed are good. Remembering that there is a patient in that bed is better. Realizing that the patient is a person is the best thing you can do.

It is easy to forget as you run hallways, answer call bells and change beds that you are caring for people. Sometimes it seems as if there isn’t enough time to get everything done, much less stop to converse with people. Empathy means that you imagine putting yourself in another person’s place. Continue reading

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Four Things Every Nursing Assistant Wishes People Knew

Certified nursing assistants are often the health care workers you will come in contact with most often when a loved one or friend is in a facility. Being a CNA is a tough career. People don’t often understand what we do on a daily basis. So what are some of the secrets of a nursing assistant?

Physically Demanding Work

CNA work is extremely physically demanding. Most patients have trouble moving on their own, which means we need to do the work for them. This means the bulk of our day includes lifting, bending, pulling, and pushing. On top of these physical demands, CNAs are on their feet the majority of their shift tending to patients.

The Work can be Mentally Challenging

Although some of the tasks associated with the daily activities of caring for patients may seem low on the brain power needed to perform them, CNAs must hold a ton of information in their head. There are proper ways to do things in order to prevent the spread of infections between patients. Before helping patients move, we must figure out the safest way to help them, while also keeping our own physical well-being in mind. Sometimes patients can be combative and aggressive. We need to assess how to keep our other patients safe, as well as ourselves. In addition to these general issues, we need to remember the details of each of the patients we are assigned to. Sometimes this can mean up to 15 patients during the course of one shift. Continue reading