Learning how to be a good CNA is important not only for job satisfaction, but also to ensure that your patients are satisfied. Some of these qualities are inborn rather than something that you learn. Certified Nursing Assistants who have a natural love of people will generally be good at their jobs. On the other hand there are those who are not what we can call ‘people persons’.
15 Good Qualities Required of a Good CNA
Some of the qualities of a good Certified Nursing Assistant are:
- A loving and caring nature: To offer the kind of care that most patients need, it is necessary to have a love for people. This will make it easier to show empathy and provide patients with the understanding and positive attitude they need. These attributes also help you to put them at ease when they are in physical or emotional distress.
- Being calm and patient: For a CNA, the ability to remain calm in stressful and unpleasant situations is very important. Not only will patients become irritable, doctors and nurses can also become quite stressed in emergencies. Since patients can be of different sexes, ages, economic backgrounds and even cultures, their expectations and behaviour will vary, so a calm disposition is important in helping you cope.
- Being emotionally stable: This helps in dealing with the stresses of the job, as well as the differences in attitudes of patients, their families and of course co-workers.
- Being a good listener: As a CAN you need to be good listeners as this makes it easier to understand the needs of your patients. Sometimes this skill also makes it easier to identify if something is wrong.
- Good communication skills: You will not only need to communicate with patients, but also their families and others who work with you. Being able to take, read and communicate vital statistics such as blood pressure readings is also important.
- Good observational skills: As a CNA you will need to be able to detect even the smallest changes in a patient, as this could be critical.
- Physically fit: Since this job requires that you do a lot of lifting and helping patients under your care move from bed to wheelchairs and vice versa, helping patients get to the bathroom and even helping with grooming, being strong and physically fit is important. In addition, a CNA tends to spend most of the working hours standing or walking around.
- Polite and respectful: This can be a thankless job and patient and co-workers can sometimes be rude, however, it is important that a CNA remain professional.
- Good time management skills: With the number of tasks that require completion during any work shift, CNAs should know how to use their time effectively. In addition, you need to know how to prioritize. You will have to ignore some tasks in an emergency.
- Trustworthiness: Whether working in private homes, hospitals, or nursing homes, CNAS have access to patients’ personal and medical information. Keeping this information confidential is an important aspect of the job. In addition, patients sometimes get close to the CNAs assigned to them, and will share personal and even financial information. Some CNAs are also privy to their patients’ financial records if they work in a private home, as they have to assist them with banking and similar fiscal matters. Giving out patients’ confidential information involves both legal and ethical issues.
- A team player: Anyone who works in the medical field knows the importance of teamwork. A CNA is no different, regardless of where they work, they will need to collaborate with doctors, nurses and other CNAs, among others.
- A strong stomach: A squeamish person is not a good candidate for this type of job. Many CNAs at some time or another will need to help patients use the bathroom and will need to clean up faeces and vomit. As such having a strong stomach is very important.
- Flexibility: Since emergencies are common in the medical field, a Certified Nursing Assistant has to be flexible as they may be required to work longer hours without notice. Sometimes, you may need to fill in for an absent colleague. Working on weekends and on holidays is also part of the package for most persons in this field.
- Good qualifications: An employer will always consider the qualities of a CNA before making a hiring decision.
- Passion: The best Certified Nursing Assistants have a genuine passion for what they do. This is what keeps CNAs going that extra mile to bring comfort to those in need.
Not everyone in this field will have all of the qualities of a good CNA, but for them to enjoy the job they need to have at least some. A good Certified Nursing Assistant knows the value of always being pleasant and respectful.