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How To Deal With Stress and Avoid Burnout as a CNA


There are more Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) in Florida than in most other states. And in the current climate, nearly all of them are carrying a great weight, whether they are working in nursing homes, home health care, or hospitals. The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, but no one more than those who are forced to wrestle with its ramifications day in and day out. That is why learning how to deal with stress and avoid burnout as a CNA is essential.

Identify Triggers

It is difficult to properly deal with one’s emotions without first acknowledging them. As a CNA, there is likely a laundry list of things that may be causing you stress, making it easier to shove all your feelings in a corner than it is to actually sort through them. But it pays to take the time to identify what may be causing you stress.

Perhaps it isn’t only the volume of work that is causing you stress, but the idea that you are letting those around you down. Or maybe it’s certain scenarios such as a co-worker or patient raising their voice. Recognizing these things can help you get to the root of these issues, which will allow you to better handle the situations in the future.

Practice Work/Life Balance

It can be hard not to carry the weight of work home with you. And to some extent, it is good to bring home your worries and fears to loved ones so you can get support for what you may be feeling. However, after acknowledging your work frustrations, it’s also important to allow yourself to focus on the world outside of work. You spend your time at work pouring yourself into others, which is wonderful. After your shift ends, take time to do things and speak to people that pour life back into you.

Faith Based Events

Emotional Boundaries

A phenomenon that’s common among those working in the healthcare field is “compassion fatigue.” Simply put, after spending so much time empathizing with others, it becomes difficult and even exhausting to respond with compassion to patient needs. This can be a hard place for CNAs who took on their job because they care for people.

One of the best ways to avoid compassion fatigue is, ironically, to set up emotional boundaries. Of course, this does not mean becoming callous or unfeeling to patients’ situations. It simply means caring for a patient’s situation while recognizing that you do not have to take on the entire emotional weight of the scenario yourself in order to care for them well.

As a CNA, you are called an essential worker. Perhaps this knowledge gives you a deep pride and a desire to be successful in what you do. Perhaps it makes you feel the great, almost suffocating weight of responsibility. Or perhaps you’ve experienced both of these things. In either case, dealing with CNA stress and burnout is necessary to get through your day to day.