Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, is a term most have heard before. However, for those outside of the medical profession, the specifics of their job are not typically as well known. More so, if you are considering CNA as a profession, it is important to have as much information as possible.
Certified Nursing Assistant: An Intro
A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, will typically work under the supervision of the facility’s nurses. They provide quality, daily care for their patients. Often, the position equates with long hours and multiple responsibilities. However, it is one of the most rewarding. Additionally, working and developing a CNA skill set can prepare you for further education or opportunity. The duties and responsibilities of a CNA can vary based on the facility and type of care they are providing. Nevertheless, these are the top five job objectives a CNA can expect.
Daily care of patients
One of the primary responsibilities of a CNA is to look after patients who can not look after themselves. CNAs are called upon to feed, bath, and dress patients. CNAs often work in long-term care facilities with patients such as accident victims or stroke patients, and in nursing homes with the elderly residents.
Additional daily care needs
In addition to bathing and dressing the patients, CNAs are typically responsible for the care and cleanliness of the patient’s room as well. Depending on the patient’s condition, this can vary from cleaning out bedpans, changing soiled sheets, or simply providing fresh bedding regularly and tidying where needed. Close contact on this level certainly calls for the utmost compassion and patience as you support those who can no longer support themselves.
Monitoring of vital signs
Whether in a long-term care facility, or a physician’s office, CNAs can be responsible for taking a patient’s vital signs- such as temperature and blood pressure. Regardless of the situation, it is important for a CNA to be able to take vital signs quickly and accurately- whether it be once or throughout the day.
Supporting medical needs and procedures
While this will vary from state to state, a CNA can be asked to set up and store medical equipment. Setting up patient exam rooms is another possibility. Finally, in some states, CNAs (with the appropriate training) may draw blood.
Assist with family contact
A Certified Nursing Assistant has the unique opportunity to work closely, even intimately, with their patients. This relationship allows them to learn about their patients- not only physically, but emotionally as well. A CNA will often have contact with a patient’s family. CNAs often keep families updated on any changes a patient may be experiencing. This is just another way a CNA can have a positive impact on their patient and their quality of care.
CNAs: Making a Difference
Although many of the tasks required of a CNA would seem “simple” by many, being a CNA is an opportunity to make a true difference in the life of someone facing illness and /or long-term changes in their life. From taking blood pressure prior to a doctor’s visit or making sure they eat their breakfast each morning, a compassionate certified nursing assistant will make a significant different in a patient’s quality of care. Whether CNA is your chose career field, or the first step towards registered nursing, the field is booming and offers lots of advantages. If you have any questions, or are looking for new CNA opportunities, send us a MESSAGE or call us at 800-442-5441.