In order to make sure that this doesn’t happen, you will need to improve your skills and train relentlessly. During my work, I discovered that many instructions CNAs are taught during class are unnecessarily complex and worded in such a way that remembering them when they are most needed will be difficult. This is why today, I want to share some simple instructions I designed myself after doing some extensive research of stroke first aid techniques. A stroke is something you will see rather often if you work in a nursing home, and the way you react to it will make a huge difference because in this case, the patient’s future will literally lie in your hands.
Step 1: Call for Help
Step 2: Diagnose
• Lift their arms
• Repeat a sentence after you
• Tell their name, age, and location
The first two tests will show you whether one half of the body is affected by paralysis, and the second will indicate whether there is any brain damage. Even if the patient can remember their personal information, slurred speech is a symptom that must be acknowledged.
Step 3: Position the Patient
In case the patient loses consciousness (or if the person was unconscious from the beginning), put him or her in the recovery position.
• Put the patient on their back.
• Place the arm that is the farthest from you at the right angle to the person’s body.
• Place the second arm across the patient’s chest.
• Bend the leg that’s nearest to you at the knee.
• Leave the second leg straight.
• Support the patient’s head and neck and carefully roll them on their side (away from you).
This position will help keep the person’s airway clear. You must keep a close eye on the patient and check their airway personally to make sure that there is nothing obstructing it.
In case the patient has stopped breathing, start performing CPR.
Step 4: Keep the Patient Warm
You will also need to loosen any tight clothing to make the patient feel more comfortable.
If you had no way of contacting help from the start, do this now, after you make sure that the area is safe for the patient.
Act as Fast as You Can
The speed of your reaction is essential when treating a stroke, as you will learn in your CNA classes, because the first hour will determine the amount of brain damage the patient suffers. Thus, providing immediate help is your foremost duty as a health care specialist.