With hundreds of CNA skills required to be successful on the job, a certified nurse assistant is truly a jack-of-all-trades. Each skill is as valuable as the next, but rather than writing a novel outlining each individual quality, here’s a look at the top five most desirable CNA skills, according to our in-the-trenches, insider knowledge:
1. Excellent verbal and written communication. Among the many CNA skills, strong communication skills are one of the most important. CNAs must be able to communicate effectively with their client, as well as with the client’s family members, doctors, nurses, and other staff members. Clear and concise written communication is required when reporting and documenting a client’s wellbeing.
2. Astute observation skills. One of the main CNA duties is observing the client’s day-to-day physical and mental health. Since doctors and nurses can’t be around their patients all the time, CNAs must keep a keen eye on their clients and report even the slightest changes. In a live-in caregiver situation, CNAs also must be detail-oriented and have a strong sense of awareness in the client’s habitat to ensure safety.
3. Ability to follow set rules and protocol. Some CNA skills—like the ability to follow rules—are so simple and basic, but the most important. Each senior care patient has a plan of care that must be executed by the CNA. Failing to follow the set protocol established in the plan of care puts the client’s health and well-being at risk and also increases the potential for liability, especially in an emergency.
4. Time management and organizational skills. CNAs often work with limited supervision. Therefore, top-notch time management and organization are CNA skills that any employer looks for. Specifically, a successful certified nurse assistant should be able to prioritize one’s daily task, file paperwork and reports in a timely manner, and work independently and efficiently while maximizing one’s time.
5. Empathy and compassion. While often considered inherent traits, these vital qualities are an extension of interpersonal skills. When working with senior care clients, an empathetic nature and caring bedside manner are essential for completing the job. A highly skilled CNA should be able to successfully navigate delicate social situation with grace and execute proper interpersonal skills.
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What CNA skills do find essential for the job? Please share!
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