Dealing With Stress When Working as a CNA

Stress is a common aspect of many jobs, but many people find that working in the health care field can be slightly more stressful because you can experience stress form both your colleagues and your clients.  Effective communication and practicing empathy are major factor in reducing the amount of stress you experience in the workplace.

Miscommunication and cultural or generational differences may lead to conflict between you and your colleague or you and your client.  Understanding to your best ability the context of the words or actions received from a person can allow you to avoid taking things personally and developing animosity toward the other person. Using neutral language and using words that are within the vocabulary of the other person, decreases their likelihood of becoming frustrated during the conversation.  Avoid being overly technical or using language specific to your field or generation, as it can add undesired stress to the situation.

Another tool you can use to decrease the amount of stress you experience from work is effective time management.  Planning ahead the tasks which you perform in a day can eliminate feelings of being rushed or unorganized.  This increases the ease and flow with which you accomplish your work, and it also shows your superiors that you understand your work and care about the way in which you carry it out.  Being familiar with your work place and policies also keeps you from getting flustered in the case of an emergency.  If you know where to look for emergency plans and other important information helps you stay calm and effective when dealing with an emergency.

Finally, what you do outside of work is very important in regards to stress management.  Working to maintain healthy relationships at home and developing a solid support system keep you from bringing external stress into the workplace.  If you have difficult personal situations, find someone who can offer guidance and support as you work through them.  Taking time for yourself is also very valuable as it allows you to decompress and gain rational perspective on your stressful situation.  Finding time to read a book or doing daily exercise can significantly increase your likelihood of maintaining a positive attitude at work, and in your daily life.  Overall, if you are not taking care of yourself, you will have a much more difficult time taking care of others.

Expert Contribution by: Heather Martens CNA
Heather has been working as a CNA for over five years, she is currently a full time nursing student and plans to graduate as a Registered Nurse in the year 2012.

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