The most challenging factor of working in a nursing assistant (CNA) job is the risk of burning out. This is when a person is so worn out, physically and emotionally, by a job and its responsibilities that they feel empty of all motivation, energy, and will to work. Jobs for nursing assistants are highly demanding, and if CNAs are not careful, they can reach a point where it becomes too much to handle. Some CNAs complain of being overworked and underappreciated.
What Causes Burnout in CNAs?
One factor that can lead to burnout is the shift lengths. Shifts can last up to 12 hours. Those working CNA jobs often say there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. For instance, when 12 hours isn’t enough time to finish your work for the day, it gives you a sense for how hard they work in each shift. Nursing assistants have an abundance of responsibilities, which can be overwhelming. If you do not stay organized and on top of everything, it is easy for things to pile up.
The job can also be physically demanding, as caring for sick or immobile patients requires physical stamina. It requires a lot of lifting, bathing, cleaning, etc.
Another factor that can lead to burnout is the amount and quality of interactions with both patients and other staff members. You need to gain trust from patients quickly, which can be hard if you are already overwhelmed with responsibilities. Even patients who trust you may be worried about their illness, nervous about procedures, or temperamental because of age or condition. Also, everyone on your staff is working in a high-stress job, and that can lead to hostility and miscommunication.
When you take care of yourself and stay positive, working in a CNA job can be highly rewarding. Understanding your job and all of its challenges can help as well.
At CynaMed, we believe nurses are vital members of the nursing community, and we want to help. To find resources and advice on working in a nursing assistant job, please visit CynaMed.