Being a Great Follower

Getting the shift off to a smooth start can make the difference between a “why, oh why didn’t I call in today” day and a decent work day/night.  Being organized and walking the unit briefly before shift change is key.  Hopefully your facility offers some overlap during shift change to facilitate this. 

Why should a CNA walk their unit before getting report?  Because nothing says “It’s my Friday and I’ll crap on the next shift if I want to” like a soiled utility room (that’s the “hopper room” to y’all from LTC) filled with bags of garbage and linen for YOU (lucky oncoming shift person) to take to the garbage/laundry chute, or if truly unlucky, the dumpster out back and/or the dirty laundry room.

If you can quickly identify what’s not done that should be, you might be able to guilt/bully/threaten collaborate with the offgoing shift to work together to fix deficiencies, rather than figuring out how to clean everything up yourself.  Or, if you’re blessed to be following a rockstar who never leaves you hanging, it’s a great time to exchange gossip compliment him/her on how great he/she is!  (Who doesn’t like to be appreciated?) Or, you might be able to help with an end-of-shift transfer or discharge (who schedules these, anyway?) to reduce your coworker’s stress level.

Bottom line – most of the time it’s up to you as the CNA to resolve challenges person-to-person.  If you think the oncoming charge nurse has time to help you resolve things, you’re probably dead-ass wrong, mi amigo!  So put on your big-girl (boy) scrubs and work to help the person you’re relieving end the shift right.

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