The outbreak of of the COVID coronavirus has presented an immense challenge for hospitals and healthcare workers around the world. In New York City, hospitals are ramping up their response to the virus as more positive cases are identified each day. On a phone call, one nurse at a major New York hospital shared her personal experience preparing to care for the most vulnerable—and her advice for what you can personally do to help slow down this crisis. Her story has been edited and condensed for clarity. I loved sitting with my grandparents when I was younger. My grandma was a nurse in World War II.
Don't cross the line: respecting professional boundaries.
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As with any job, as a CNA you have to perform your duties properly and competently in order to stay employed. In the medical field there is very little margin for error, but as humans we are bound to make a mistake here and there. There are certain things that nursing assistants can get away with as far as mistakes go. However, there are things that simply cannot be overlooked. If these things happen you will surely lose your job, and possibly your license.
I got paired up with this really cute CNA. So I watched her do her thing and I was amazed! And don't even get me started on the way she handled incontenence and accidents. She made sure that the resident didn't feel bad.
One drawback of being young and strong is that you might have difficulty having empathy for older, more fragile people. Empathy means being able to put yourself in the place of someone else and understand how he or she must feel. When a friend goes through a divorce or loses a family member we imagine ourselves in the same situation and for a moment we feel the sadness that our friend must feel. Imagine how you would feel if you were unwell and had to have assistance getting out of bed or walking down the hall. Some of the residents might have helped win World War II and were in the peak of physical condition at that time.