10 Personality Traits All CNAs Must Have
CNAs may come in all shapes and sizes but the successful ones have similar personalities. In a study of 200 LPNs and nursing assistants, the strongest personality traits were order, savvy, determination, goodwill and optimism. If this describes you—great! You’ll make a perfect CNA. If not don’t sweat it, educators and mentors can help you build these skills.
It’s also a good idea to review this list before that big job interview. Without a doubt, your future boss will be hot to know whether your personality is a close match to the ideal.
Working with the elderly, sick and injured requires a lot of compassion and empathy. Putting yourself in your patient’s shoes is important. Remember that they’re in pain—empathizing with their situation is the best way to work towards a solution.
You’ll constantly be feeding, cleaning and bathing your patients which can get stressful at times. To provide the best care you’ll need a big dollop of patience. Each patient is different—while one might be cooperative the next might be less so. Put on a smile and try to imagine what they’re going through. That awful patient might not be feeling great at the moment.
It’s essential for CNAs to communicate effectively with patients to properly take care of their concerns. You also need to be able to connect with other healthcare workers to pass on patient statuses. You’ll be dealing with plenty of people and critical information so brush up on those speaking skills.
Your daily routine might involve hundreds or thousands of patients. Still, you’ve got to do your best for each of them. Little mistakes can be harmful or even fatal for a patient. Be observant and try to pick out abnormalities. Non-verbal clues such as a different expression might mean they need medical help stat. You’ll also need to make sure your documentation is air-tight and that all routine tasks are performed with careful attention.
CNAs have a lot on their plate. A large patient list and tight schedule are the hallmark of any given day. Being able to work under pressure systemically and carefully is an invaluable trait. Plan and prioritize and you’ll do well by your clients and earn the respect of your peers and bosses.
6. Team Player
Wherever you’re working you’ll have to operate within a larger team to get things done. You need to be able to join forces with co-workers to plan shifts so that all tasks are carried out and everyone’s needs are met. To do this, you’ll need the other traits on this list, especially patience!
This trait is often overlooked but it’s important. You need to be savvy (knowledgeable) about how your facility works and its rules and regulations. It’s important to keep patient records confidential and know about Health Information Accountability and Portability Act (HIPAA) guidelines and company policies.
8. Professional Attitude
Be respectful with your co-workers and patients. We all have bad days but try to separate your job and life as best you can—after all you’re in an important care position. Dressing well and keeping up your hygiene helps reinforce this attitude.
Between a tight schedule, difficult patients and competing needs you’re likely to feel a bit deflated. Optimism will go a long way towards making your day and the day of those around you that much brighter. If you’re not naturally sunny, compassion and patience will help make optimism possible.
Research has found that CNAs perform an average of 45 tasks in their job. Whew! Balancing multiple responsibilities with sometimes uncooperative patients requires more than just optimism—you’ll need lots of iron-clad determination too. Prioritize, be efficient and power through.