It is not easy to be a CNA, as they have to face several challenges everyday and that includes dealing with terminally ill patients and death.
CNA Classes and Death
During the training period CNAs are taught what they have to do in case a patient dies and how to take care of terminally ill patients. Even though all these things are taught, CNAs learn the most through experience. Every patient is different. Some of the terminally ill patients want to talk it all out and share their concerns and fear of dying whereas others like to keep to themselves and not communicate much. Such individualistic differences should be respected.
Having To Deal With Deaths
CNAs have to make sure that they treat their patients well. They don’t only have to deal with the physical needs of the patient, but the psychological and emotional ones as well. It is important for a CNA to be there for the patient as well as their family. It may be difficult for new CNAs to deal with the death of a patient because nurses spend a lot of time with their patients and develop a strong bond with them. Even though it might not be easy they have to make sure that the patient is comfortable in their final days.
What To Do With Dying Patients
Other than keeping the patients comfortable make sure that they are clean. Use sponges to give them gentle baths and if they are able to then help them in taking short walks. Make sure that they are never thirsty or hungry. If they are bed bound, then change their position every few hours so that they don’t get body sores. As a CNA you will be required to check the patient frequently for their body temperature, breathing pattern, blood pressure and blood circulation.
Be compassionate towards them and do whatever you can to make them happy. This can include reading to them, watching TV with them, holding their hands or by simply talking to them about their life. These things may not be taught during the classes but they are part of being human.