Essential Guides on What Does a CNA Do
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If you considering a career in the nursing industry, read on to find more about what does a CNA do. Those that work as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) will find that they have critical roles in the medical community and that the tasks they are asked to complete will likely be vast and changing on a day to day basis. People in this position will find steady work in various types of locations such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and as home health aides. Each of these positions will require some of the same basic tasks to be completed, although some other tasks may be assigned that are specific to the type of facility one chooses to work in.
Everyone who graduates from a certified CNA school or training program will be technically trained in three different areas: assistance skills, procedural skills and safety skills. In assistance skills, such training involves tasks such as learning how to lift patients in and out of bed, how to properly assist patients with overall personal hygiene and any other hands-on learning that can help patients complete their day to day activities. Procedural skills are also valuable in this field and CNAs will learn a lot about charting patient’s health and how to care for patients. In this portion of learning, a CNA will also learn critical skills such as how to take blood pressure and how to read patient vital signs.
Following Your State’s Mandates
Each state will have its own list of regulations and all students that are enrolled in a CNA program or certification class will be expected to learn skills that are aligned with their state’s requirements. While in your training program you will be given a CNA checklist which will encompass all of the vital skills both text and hands-on that must be learned prior to receiving your certification. This checklist will also assist you in passing your CNA state exam when that time comes and is an important tool when preparing for the exam.
What Does a CNA Do – Beginning Your Career
In next few paragraphs, you will get a glimpse of what does a CNA do.
All certified nursing assistants will be required to work under the direct supervision of a licensed nursing professional. They report daily or several times per day to whoever nurse they are assigned under and from these supervisors a lot can be learned. Being supervised by someone who is a licensed nurse is also a great way to garner additional support as there may be some complicated issues that you come across while assisting patients and their family members. Having a soundboard or someone to guide you while in the field is extremely helpful particularly when first starting out.
The tasks you will be assigned will vary depending on where you decide to work but it is guaranteed that basic responsibilities will be delegated in all fields and those will include the following:
A CNA can expect to be assigned some patient assessment responsibilities which includes taking their vital signs such as temperature and blood pressure as well as their pulse and respiration vitals. These are important responsibilities as many patients you may come in contact with may have health related issues, acquired illnesses or could possibly be receiving from a surgical procedure. Their vital signs are an indication to you and the medical team that they are recovering properly or are in acceptable health overall. You also may be required to collect urine or stool samples that the doctors and lab technicians will need to run certain tests.
Finally, in this realm CNAs will fulfill responsibilities in charting which is where all of the patient’s vital signs and health information will be documented or recorded. Charting is one of the most important tasks for CNAs to complete and they need to be accurate and detailed as they are written recordings of everything having to do with the patient’s health, testing and recoveries. Doctors, nurses and oncoming or relief staff will heavily rely on the information you record during your shifts to continue the care of patient’s once you have left for the day.
What Does a CNA Do – Personal Care Tasks
It is also the responsibility of a CNA to assist patients with all of their daily tasks and overall care. Responsibilities in this area include helping patients transition from one place to another such as their beds to the bathroom facilities or helping in transport to labs or surgery areas if they are scheduled for them.
Many patients are unable to complete even basic hygiene skills on their own such as bathing, toileting or dressing and CNAs are required to assist with all of these duties while on shift. Some other hygiene responsibilities may also include helping patients brush their teeth, applying lotions and shaving.
Ensuring that your patients are comfortable is also something that you will be assigned to do including helping them to shift positions in bed if they are unable to do so themselves, bringing them food and drinks if they are unable to get them on their own and possibly transferring them to their walkers and or wheelchairs if they used them. In rehabilitation facilities patients often have to attend exercise classes or rehab classes and you may be required to help them transition to those areas as well.
Upkeep of patient’s rooms are also your responsibility so you will see to it that the rooms are cleaned and disinfected regularly, that their laundry is being done and not piling up within the rooms and that they have clean bed linens at all times.
Changing bedpans or linens in the rooms when they have been used or soiled will also be part of your daily tasks. Facilities with live in patients are often extremely cautious and particular about the patient rooms and insist that they are comfortable and sanitary at all times and these duties fall under the CNA expectations.
After reading all the above, you should have a clear idea on what does a CNA do. If you are passionate about helping people and can handle the stress and pressure that come along, then CNA will definitely be the right choice for you.