Four Self-care Tips for STNAs
Being an STNA means that you’re taking care of several patients at a time. You’ll do that every shift, every day that you work. That can start to add up to a lot of people you’re taking care of in a short amount of time. You need to make sure that one of the people you’re caring for is yourself.
Proper Hygiene Protects You and Your Patients
During your training, you learn a lot about patient care and procedures. You’re tested on all of this and required to pass a variety of practical questions. One of the most important practical skills you’ve learned is going to be proper hygiene procedures and practices. These are important because they not only protect your patients from illnesses and injuries, but they also protect you. Skipping steps is a recipe for disaster.
Improper Lifting Can Lead to Injuries
One of the procedures you’ll need to pay close attention to involves using the right lifting techniques. When you’re lifting, transferring, or supporting a patient, it’s vital that you’re using the right form. If you’re not, you’re much more likely to injure your patient, but also yourself. You’re most likely to injure your back, which is not only painful but can also put an end to you doing what you love to do.
It’s Not Personal
Sometimes the people you’re caring for are not going to be thrilled about your help, even though they may need it very much. It’s really important to remember that their reactions aren’t about you. It’s difficult for some people to accept that they need help and because they’re angry or upset about what’s going on in their own lives, they take that out on people that they perceive as safe. Sometimes that means that as that person’s STNA, that’s you.
Know and Respect Your Own Limits
Being a state tested nursing assistant demands quite a lot from you. You’re going to work long hours and you’re going to find that you get emotionally attached to some of your patients. You have to learn what your own limits are and learn to respect those limits so that you can take the best care of yourself possible. If you don’t do that, you can run the risk of burning out well before you should.
Your own plan for self-care is going to have a lot of variables in it. You’re going to be a better nursing assistant if you’re paying attention to what you need, though, so this isn’t something you can skip.