8 Bad Habits and How to Steer Clear of Them

Article Categories: Environment & Legal and Ethics

Bad habits do not do us any good, we know that, but why do we allow ourselves to be bound by them? Why is it so hard to break free?

Bad habits develop because people find some form of reward by doing it. Stress eating, for example, offers distraction when the pressures in their life mount up. Prolonged tension releases stress hormones that increase appetite, and food helps ‘relieves’ the anxiety. With the rewards received, a person tends to repeat the behavior to reap the same 'benefits’ and they continue to do so unconsciously. The problem is that to stop the auto mode, the brain needs to be 'rewired’, which is not a very easy process.

So instead of giving in to bad practices and then painstakingly digging your way out, it is better to prevent them from happening. Bad habits put your career on the line. You get distracted and become out of focus, so that in the end, your patients suffer the consequences.

One of the most effective ways to prevent bad habits from forming from the very start is to recognize which behavior tends to be deceptively rewarding and repetitive and cut them off early on in their track.

Here are some common bad habits and some self-discipline tips:

1. Gossiping.

CNA or not, talking about others’ personal lives behind their back is second nature to many. The staff gossip because they get the chance to bond with their colleagues and be entertained at the same time.

Lunch breaks and after-shift get-togethers are the common avenues for gossiping to happen. If you find yourself in such a dilemma, avoid adding to their stories. You can still enjoy your coworker’s company though!

The real danger of gossiping is when the topic becomes the patient because it breaks the HIPAA rule. When this happens, decide to leave when the conversation involves patients. You can also step up and call out the behavior. Better yet, initiate changing the topic.

2. Procrastination.

People put off things for later because they want to enjoy more carefree time in the present. Workers also usually do this to deal with more stressful situations at the last minute. In case you find yourself procrastinating as a way to cope, learn to prioritize instead. Prioritizing helps you complete the most important tasks first, whether they are stressful or not.

3. Taking risky short-cuts.

When you lack time to finish all your tasks before your shift ends, you tend to skip crucial steps when performing patient care procedures. For example, you forego handwashing between seeing different patients because ‘There’s not enough time.’ A big no-no to developing this nasty habit because it can endanger both your safety and the patients’. Instead of doing risky workarounds, avoid procrastination, and ramp up your time management skills.

4. Emotional detachment.

Working as a nursing assistant can be emotionally overwhelming and draining at the same time. Repeatedly witnessing patient deterioration and death, for example, can break your resolve so that you keep an emotional distance between you and your patients just to cope. The downside of this coping mechanism is that when overdone, it makes you numb and compassionless. You lose the human touch. In the long run, you turn cold and heartless. Do not allow yourself to fail in this regard and waste meaningful connections at work.

5. Participating in bullying situations.

A culture of fear where the workplace tolerates bullying will result in staff burnout and medical errors. If you think witnessing bullying silently or laughing at a 'joke' directed at a victim is harmless, it isn't.

If you're not against it actively, you are on that side of the fence that supports it. There is just no middle ground when it comes to bullying. You don’t even want to go near this habit at all.

6. Doing just enough.

Seemingly a harmless one, doing just enough to call it a day almost doesn’t fit in the bad habit category. But doing an average job out of an extraordinary calling is such a waste of purpose. Excellence is a choice, and it is always a welcome idea in the world of nurse assisting.

If you develop a habit of excellence, not only would patients benefit from your outstanding care, but you would also boost your self-esteem. To avoid being complacent and comfortable with substandard quality of work, always challenge yourself and strive to do your best.

As you move through your career as a CNA, you'll develop unique ways of doing things, which will define you as a healthcare worker and as a person. Bad habits are unhealthy and make you unproductive. A little self-discipline will go a long way to prevent yourself from being imprisoned by your poor practices.


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