Without a doubt, being a CNA is hard. It is especially hard when your patient is in the last phase of their life. This is why we wanted to write a blog about Navigating the Critical Role of a CNA in End-of-Life Care.
When a patient is in their last phase of life, a CNA is someone who can make a patient's last days enjoyable. They have a lot of power to make sure the patient enjoys their final days. In this blog, we are going to provide our top tips on how to navigate the role of being a CNA in end-of-life care.
End-of-life care is also sometimes known as palliative care. Before we outline our tips for end-of-life care, we wanted to define palliative care.
So, what is palliative care? Palliative care is medical care for people living with a serious illness, such as:
These illnesses are usually ones that mean a patient is in their last phase of life. In this blog, we will detail our top six tips for navigating being a CNA in end-of-life or palliative care, which are to:
Read below to find more details about our top 6 tips for how to navigate end-of-life care for patients as a CNA.
Tip #1: Prepare emotionally. End-of-life care can be emotionally taxing, so it’s important to prepare. Take time to reflect on the experiences you may encounter. Make sure you to prepare with how you may deal with the death of a patient. In this time, try to tap into your own resilience and self-care strategies. We recommend you:
Once you understand how you may feel, how to cope, and who you can turn to, you will be emotionally prepared.
Tip #2: Respect wishes. A very important tip we have is to respect the patient’s wishes. Make sure to follow up on any requests patients may have.
For example, if your patient wants to see a place that holds a special place in their heart, talk to their family. Maybe they want to visit a lake they once used to visit. If it's possible, come up with a plan with their family for them to visit it. Of course, only do this if it is not a medical risk.
As another example, if your patient requests their favorite chocolate bar, try to help them get to get it. Only do this if it is not a medical risk for your patient. If your patient has high blood pressure, for example, this would not be safe.
All in all, do your best to respect your patient's wishes. In the end of life, patients may have a few wishes they want to fulfill. As their caregiver, it's your job to help them do this.
Tip #3: Establish a connection. Develop a connection with the patient and their family. Also, use empathy and compassion to provide them with the best care possible.
Another important aspect in end-of-life care is establishing a connection. A connection helps your patient and their family feel satisfied about their care.
If you have a strong connection, you will see that:
Once you establish a strong connection, your patient and family will both be happier.
Tip #4: Be an open communicator. Another tip we have is to be an open communicator with the patient and their family. Open communication is very important when patients are in the last phase of life because it:
For example, if you are a trusted and open CNA, you will know how your patient is feeling. This is helpful because you can relay this information to a patient's family. They can then use this information to make a decision about their family member's care. This is why it's important to be an open communicator with everyone.
Tip #5: Be available. Another tip we have is to be available. If you are available, you can best provide:
It's also important to be available for questions and concerns the family may have. For example, if you are available for these two things, you can help the family to understand:
This is why we recommend you are available for your patient and their family in end-of-life care.
Tip #6: Take time for self-care. Our final tip in navigating end-of-life care is to take time for self-care. Caring for a patient at the end of their life can be:
With that said, we want you to make sure to take time for yourself and practice self-care. If you notice you are becoming saddened by providing end-of-life care, make sure you talk to:
It is important that you have a support system as a caregiver providing end-of-life care.
In conclusion, Navigating the Critical Role of a CNA in End-of-Life Care is hard. CNAs who help those in the last phase of their life by providing palliative care services do not have easy jobs. This is why it's important to recognize the difficulty of this job and provide the best care possible. It's also important to take care of yourself and your emotions in tough times like these.
We believe you can best provide end-of-life care if you follow our six tips, which are to:
“We love working with the Levo team! They provided us with valuable advices that supercharged our hiring process.”