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Overcoming CNA Fatigue

With a shortage of Certified Nursing Assistant and an tremendous need within the health care system, the amount of CNAs working long shifts has become a regular part of the job.  Combating fatigue is something that must be done to ensure residents are kept safe and that they receive the healthcare services needed at a level of excellence that should be expected.

CNAs are constantly adjusting to changing conditions and deciding between competing priorities, with too little time to accomplish all that they would like to do.  They provide nearly all the direct care for elderly adults in long-term care settings, and regularly end up being the main liaison among family members and licensed care providers. Yet they are usually excluded from decision making and may have difficulty sharing information with nursing staff. The workload is quite high, and therefore they sometimes feel stressed.  Sometimes the patients and employers may not realize how much the nursing assistants contribute to overall goals of the medical facility and to the medical profession as a whole. The stress combined with the lack of sleep can all add up to Certified Nursing Assistant that are just too worn out to properly perform their job.

Having to pull extra shifts and work more because there are just not enough qualified CNAs being hired is the top cause of fatigue.  Most know when they are too fatigued to carry out their job duties, but employers often do not listen to their protests.

Top Causes of CNA Fatigue

  • Long working hours
  • Lack of sleep
  • Understaffing

Fixing the problem is not difficult. It begin first with researching and finding out what limits should be in place for Certified Nursing Assistant schedules and workload. Administration and nursing staff must work together to come up with schedules that work for everyone. There has to be a group effort working towards wiping out CNA fatigue.

Managing Your Fatigue
Fatigue is a common problem for professional caregivers.  If not managed it can lead to burnout.  Here are three ways to help you manage fatigue.

  • Eat High Energy Foods- Certain foods have been shown to help reduce fatigue such as walnuts, dark chocolate and teas.
  • Get Plenty of sleep- perhaps the best tip for being fatigued is getting plenty of sleep.  You may want to check out Healthy Tips for CNAs
  • Minimize Your Stress-Planning your activities for day can help your stress level.

A fatigued employee is more likely to make errors in their work. They are more likely to have accidents on and off the job. There must be a solution found to stop this easily preventable problem. There should be strides made to help set up current nurse aides with a comfortable schedule that prevents them from ending up fatigued.