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The Top 10 Skills Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) Need to be Successful

Gardens on QuailCertified Nursing Aides, or Assistants, work on the front lines of healthcare. CNAs help deliver basic care to patients and assist with many activities associated with daily life. They contribute greatly to their patients’ positive response to treatment and overall wellbeing. As such, this is a career that requires specific technical and communication skills as well as a number of interpersonal skills, such as compassion and a strong desire to help others.

1. Knowledge

CNAs must complete an extensive training program and pass an exam. Training requirements vary by state. Colorado requires a minimum of 75 hours of combined classroom time (lectures), lab and clinical experience in an approved setting to learn the necessary skills. Knowledge of common disorders, infections and conditions as well as the terminology used by medical professionals is also important, and some of this is gained on the job.

2. Flexibility

The ability to adapt to circumstances that can change from day to day and from patient to patient is essential for a CNA. Any number of factors can impact your day, from the weather to schedule or shift changes to the demeanor of the patients you are seeing. Some days will go smoothly and others will present challenges.

3. Physical Wellness

The daily responsibilities of a CNA involve a lot of standing and include positioning, lifting and transferring patients. Maintaining your own health and hygiene is necessary for doing the job, keeping yourself healthy and preventing the spread of disease.

4. Time Management

CNAs work with limited supervision. Organization, efficient time management and the ability to prioritize tasks each day help ensure that everything gets done properly and that patients receive the care and attention they need. Paperwork must be completed correctly, thoroughly and in a timely manner.

5. Cooperation

CNAs are part of a care team. Cooperating with other members of the team eliminates mistakes and prevents critical steps from being missed or information falling through the cracks. Don’t hesitate to ask for or offer assistance when needed.

6. Patience

Ill or disabled clients may require extra time and a calm, encouraging presence, regardless of how the CNA may personally be feeling or how their day is going. Patience is an important skill that aids in the healing or recovery of the person being cared for.

7. Communication Skills

Strong written and verbal communication skills are critical for interacting effectively with clients, clients’ family members, other medical personnel involved and staff members. Clear concise communication is required for reporting and documenting a client’s condition.

8. Empathy and Compassion

These qualities are especially important when working with seniors as they navigate physical and emotional changes that impact their ability to have the life they once had. CNAs must be able to gracefully navigate delicate social situations and master a number of interpersonal skills.

9. Stamina

CNA is a demanding and physical job. Long shifts are common. From the first client of the day to the last, everyone in a CNA’s care must receive the same level of attention, and that includes physical labor.

10. Attention to Detail

CNAs work with multiple clients in a day. That means a lot of details to keep track of on patient charts and forms. CNAs must be observant of their clients and notice changes in behavior or demeanor. Because CNAs provide a significant amount of direct patient care, their input is invaluable and may even be lifesaving.

Colavria Hospitality currently manages four senior living communities in the Denver metro area which offer a unique mix of care options. Our mission is to provide those we serve with an environment that focuses on hospitality, person-centered relationships, and the well-being of each individual. Each community operates under our Core Principles of Collaboration, Innovation, and Harmony to assure a rich and secure lifestyle for patients as well as a pleasant working environment for our care team. We invite you to take a tour of our facilities.

Visit The Rehabilitation Center at Sandalwood, Saint Paul Health Center and WestLake Care Community. Contact us to learn more about our staff and expertise.

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