CNAs are one of the first healthcare professionals with whom, the patients encounter in a hospital. They are the first ones to listen to the problems of the patients. Due to various types of tasks that CNAs perform in the nursing homes, they are often termed as the ‘eyes and ears of the nursing staff’. These professionals also act as a coordinator between the patients and the doctors. Continue reading this article to explore the various CNA duties and responsibilities of the certified nurse assistants.
When you work as a CNA, you need to acquire some of the basic traits to serve the patients. You are in an occupation which is related to people’s health, thus; you need to check on your behavioral traits. Some primary personal characteristics that a CNA professional must possess are:
It literally means ‘getting into someone else’s shoes’. This is what exactly you need to do. You need to imagine yourself at the patient’s place, then only; you will be able to understand their situation precisely.
You need to be kind to your patients. The more compassion you will show, the more comfortable they will feel. You need to be benevolent towards them.
Being a CNA, it is your foremost responsibility to provide immaculate care to your patients. Care doesn’t only mean providing them the basic facilities, but it also includes listening to the patients carefully. When patients feel like someone is listening to their needs, they start discussing their problems more openly and without any hesitation, which, in turn, helps in quick recovery.
1. Personal Hygiene
The basic duties of CNA include maintaining personal hygiene of the patients like brushing their teeth, combing their hair, shaving, changing clothes, etc. They also have to maintain the cleanliness of the patient’s surroundings and prevent the spread of infection.
2. Maintaining the Records of the Patient
One of the most important duties of the nurse aides is to record the vital signs of the patients like blood pressure, pulse rate, blood sugar, weight, etc., on daily basis. You must convey your findings to the next CNA and registered nurses while leaving the facility after completing your shift.
3. Nutritional Requirements
It is important to take a note of dietary requirements (food and fluid intake) of the patient and setting up the meal tray as prescribed by the doctor.
4. Preventing Bed Sores
Some patients are too weak to move from their position. Such people are at the high risk of developing bed sores, and must be moved or shifted sideways to prevent bedsores.
5. Toileting Needs
Some patients are so feeble that they can’t sit, stand or walk and some of them are not allowed to exert themselves too much. In such a case, the CNA has to look after the toileting needs of the patients such as providing them with bedpan, checking their urine bag, disposing of the contents at regular intervals, proper cleaning, and taking the patient to the loo, whenever they wish to.
6. Collecting the Samples
It is the duty of the nurse aides to collect the blood, urine and sputum samples of the patient as and when required by the doctor.
7. Preparing the Patient for Surgery
It is a part of the nurse assistant’s duty to prepare the patient for operation or surgery, if they have to undergo any.
8. Patient Transportation
Whenever the patients are to be taken for therapy sessions or surgery then they are carried by CNAs. Nurse aides also help the patients in walking.
9. Equipment Usage
CNAs assist nurses in handling various equipments like ventilators, bladder scanners, anti-embolism stockings, bedpans, etc. Certified nurse aides also take care of the cleanliness of the medical equipments and also ensure that they are properly sterilized.
Soiled and dirty clothes of the patients must be sent for washing and arrangement of clean and fresh clothes must be done timely.
11. Emotional Support
Nurse aides provide emotional support to the patients which help them recover soon. You can relieve the stress and concerns of the patient to a great extent by listening and counseling them properly.
12. Stay Updated
You must have knowledge of all the latest developments or advancements in the field of nursing. For this, you ought to read professional publications, participate in educational seminars, undertake refresher program, etc.
13. Clerical Duties
CNAs also perform clerical duties such as scheduling appointments, maintaining the inventory, responding to phone calls, processing the documents of the patients, etc.
After completing the certificate course, CNAs can explore their career in many areas. You can either work in a hospital/ nursing home or can join day care schools or centers. Here is a list of areas, where certified nursing assistants can work.