Certified Nursing Assistants help provide basic care for patients in hospitals, assistant living centers and nursing homes. Nursing assistants are also called by Patient Care Technicians, Nursing Aides, Nurse Aide, the Medical Assistants, Home Health Aides and Clinical Certified Nursing Assistants. All these professions assist patients in healthcare facilities. They also help move medical equipments and patients.
The Certified Nursing Assistant is as an important healthcare professional who is charged with the job responsibilities fit for a caring and compassionate mother. So, if you think of yourself as a compassionate and caring person, then you find nursing assistant an excellent entry level medical career choice.
Certified Nursing Assistants Job Descriptions Regarding Patient Care
Certified Nursing Assistant is non-technical professionals who provide basic nursing care to patient under supervision of RN (Registered Nurse). Before pursuing the careers in CNA you have to know about the courses, job opportunity, work nature, job responsibilities etc. The duties of a CNA can be classifies as follows:
- Assist in Personal Hygiene
- Toileting Needs
- Patient’s Record Keeping
- Monitoring The Health of Patients
- Dietary Care
- Administering Medicines
- Prevent Bed Sores
- Assist in Surgery
- Equipment Care
- Exercising the Patients
- Transport the patients
- Sample Collection
- Laundry Storage
- Change Dressing
- Assist in equipment usage
- Maintain Cleanliness
- Emotional support
Feeding the patients
One of the common job duties of a CNA is to help feed the patients, who are the victim of paralysis or are physically or mentally disable in some way that inconvenience themselves from eating the food on their own.
Dressing and grooming the patients
One of the other essential nursing assistant job descriptions tells that the CNAs would also have to assist the disable patients in dressing themselves.
If need be, the CNAs can also play the role of a secretary and take their patients out for a walk or for meeting a doctor. Moreover, CNAs are also expected to groom the patients and make them look better such as by combing, shaving and/or cutting their hair.
Maintaining the patient's health and hygiene and keeping the environment sterile
Being a nurse aide, the utmost job responsibility of a CNA (or any healthcare and medical practitioners) is to keep the patient healthy and their environment sterile so as to prevent the disease transmission. CNAs make sure that the patients are maintaining their health and hygiene.
CNAs provide the required dose of medicines as well as other necessary care to the patients. In addition, they also tidy up the patient's room and change their bed-sheets and bedpans. CNAs help to maintain clean environment around the patients.
Checking vital stats of the patient
CNAs have responsibility of taking the vital statistics of the patient, such as checking the patient's blood pressure, respiration rate and so on.
In case, the patient shows any abnormalities on inspection of the vital stats, then the CNAs are recommended to inform a senior nurse practitioner or a doctor as soon as possible.
Checking the Patients’ Inputs and Outputs
To find out how the patient’s body is functioning and provide treatment accordingly, it is necessary for the CNAs to assess the inputs and outputs of the patient. In other words, the CNAs are expected to record the intakes of the patient relating how much water and food they consume.
If the patient is drinking and eating properly, then it is a good sign of their improving health but if otherwise, then the CNAs will have to examine their outputs, especially the urine, stool and sputum (or blood also), in order to help the doctors find out the defects in the functioning of the patient’s body.
Inspecting the Activities of Daily Livings (ADLs) of the patient
The physical condition of the patient can be assessed by observing their Activities of Daily Livings or, rather say, ADLs. Therefore, observing the patient’s ADLs is also a part of the CNA duties.
The CNAs are required to observe how much the patient is able to walk, what self-care they can administer themselves as well as how long they sit in the chair or out of bed.
While observing the patients, the CNAs should also check ordinary things like whether the patient experiences any dizziness while standing up or whether he/she has other minor problems like irregular breathing, difficulty in swallowing and incontinence.
As a Home Health Aide, the CNAs may also have to do additional job duties like cooking and washing.
Assisting the patients to go through the Range of Motion (ROM) exercises
The aim of the ROM (i.e. Range of Motion) exercises is to improve the physical condition of the patient and ascertain that their joints or muscles do not contract. This way, the patients would be able to retain the ability to stretch their limbs.
Repositioning & Transporting the Patients
The CNAs should be well trained to move the patient from the bed to the chair (or wheel chair). In addition, it is also the responsibility of a CNA to reposition the patients every 2 hours, in case the patients are weak or paralyzed. This way the patients will be spared from feeling the pain caused by the bedsores.
Other Job duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Like many other medical or nursing job positions, the CNAs also have a wide variation in their job duties, especially when they are hired in different work settings. The above mentioned duties are merely highlights the basic nursing assistant job descriptions regarding the patient care.
CNAs working in a hospital setting (especially that of an ICU) will have the major job responsibilities like checking the patient’s vital stats, recording their inputs and outputs, managing the medical equipments and infection control. On the other hand, CNAs in long-term care facility or in nursing homes have the main job responsibility of administering patient care services.
There are many other CNA duties, aside from patient care. CNAs are allowed to take specialized trainings (be it from accredited schools or online training classes) to perform valuable nursing skills such as wound treatment, pain management, long term patient care, urinalysis, IV lines etc.
Note that CNAs are expected to take a specialization test in order to practice these specialties legally.
Additional CNA Duties
After completion of CNA courses nurses can also work as psychiatric. They work under the supervision of psychiatric, psychologist. They perform more duties along with above mentioned duties. Some duties of a CNA are as follows:
- Being sociable with patients
- Play games with patients
- Participate in various activities with patients conducted by hospitals
- Go along with patients during therapy sessions
- Record abnormal condition and behavior of patient which is importance in treating patients.
How to Become a CNA?
To become a CNA, you have to complete accredited CNA course from CNA schools, community colleges, vocational schools, and online CNA Training is another best and popular way. Long term care facilities and skilled nursing facilities also offer CNA training. Students who want be involve in nursing assistant field can acquire CNA course from accredited academic or medical institutions or via online. Online CNA training courses details can be found in website of accredited colleges. After completion of nursing course students are require to take the CNA test. Certification is a title of Registered CNA which helps nursing assistants to get employed in hospitals, private nursing homes, long term assisting living centers etc.
To become eligible for course you must have high school diploma or GED. You have to participate in entrance examination which includes simple math calculation, English speaking, reading and writing test. Some institutions required TABE (Test of Adult Basic Examination) in order to admission. After completion of certified nurse aide course you have to certify by Nurse Aide Registry to get title of Certified Nurse Aide. Every state has Nurse Aide Registry which is responsible for keep tracking of certified nursing assistants.
Nursing assistants must be caring, sympathetic, detail oriented, and required to access patient’s condition, and provide consultation. They are responsible to provide emotional and mental support to the patients. The average salary of a Certified Nurse Aide is about $30,000 per year. Nature of CNA must be active while working with doctors and staff nurses to provide care to patients. CNA job requires working in a team. The role of a nurse aide must be compassionate, patient, understanding and honest. They also needed physical fitness to lift and transport patient in required.
CNA Salary & Nurse Aide Career Prospects
The certified nursing assistants are the entry-level nurses, whose earning potentiality does not generally cross the salary figure of $45,000 per year. Most CNAs move forward to practice higher nursing posts, for the appeal of their job duties or due to their high income prospects.
Certified nurse aides can continue their nursing education to secure higher nursing posts such as that of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN).