What Does a Certified Nursing Assistant Do?
Do you enjoy caring for others? Are you patient, perceptive and communicative? If so, you might enjoy performing the duties of a certified nursing assistant. Read on to learn more about this rewarding career. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Certified Nursing Assistant Job Summary
Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) work in many healthcare settings, including nursing homes, hospitals and hospice facilities. They even provide healthcare in patients' homes. As a CNA, you perform a wide range of tasks to keep patients comfortable, usually under the supervision of a registered nurse. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that, though this type of work can be tiring or unpleasant, many CNAs find it rewarding due to the positive effect they have on patients (www.bls.gov). Also, because many CNAs work in long-term care facilities, they often form close relationships with their patients.
Typical Job Duties
While specific duties vary depending on the type of facility in which you work, CNAs typically perform routine healthcare tasks. Most of these tasks are designed to help patients feel clean and safe, although you might also be responsible for handling and storing supplies. Performing these duties may require a great deal of patience and persistence, as well as a strong desire to help the ill.
Patients often need help performing daily functions that permanent disability or temporary incapacitation render difficult. As a CNA, you might help patients bathe, eat, answer the telephone or get dressed. You may also be responsible for cleaning up bodily fluids and repositioning bedridden patients. CNAs are typically responsible for answering patients' call signals.
The majority of healthcare procedures are left to nurses and doctors; however, some CNAs perform basic medical tasks. You might observe patients' progress and take vital signs, such as blood pressure, temperature, respiration rate and pulse. You'll be expected to note any changes in a patient's condition and report these issues to doctors or registered nurses.
While custodial staff typically oversees the cleanliness of patients' rooms, CNAs also promote the welfare of patients by keeping their rooms tidy. CNAs may sanitize rooms and their contents when necessary. Other cleaning duties include making beds, emptying bedpans and putting patients' personal items in cabinets.
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