Bearing the job responsibilities of a CNA or, rather say, a Certified Nursing Assistant is certainly a very decent thing to do since like most other nursing and medical professions, the CNAs also make a great difference in the world. What’s more, people rarely follow this nursing career for the sake of money (average earnings of a CNA is just about a mere $28,000 p.a.). Instead, attachment and inspiration for undertaking the CNA duties comes due to one’s caring and compassionate nature as well as the prospect of gaining satisfaction from helping disable persons.
Top 7 CNA Duties That Define What A Certified Nursing Assistant Really Is!
Now, it’s indeed a good thing to discover beforehand what the profession of a CNA has to offer. And, to find out whether this particular nursing career is suitable for you, the best alternative available is to check out the CNA duties and see if you are interested to bear those job responsibilities on your shoulder.
Checking the patient’s vital stats
As a CNA, whether you are employed in a hospital or in some other nursing care facilities, you must be well qualified in checking & recording the patient’s vital status such as their blood pressure, body temperature, body weight, pulse rate and respiration rate.
After all, these vital signs are the most convenient way for the CNAs or any other medical practitioner to find out if the patient’s health condition is improving or not.
Note: On inspection of the patient’s vital signs, if there is found any abnormalities, then the CNAs are demanded to inform it to a doctor or a senior nurse as quickly 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.
Giving a helping hand to the patients for performing their ADLs
Since most of the patients, who require the care of a CNA, are disable in some way (like because of partial-paralysis or incapacitated body parts), it then becomes the job responsibility of a CNA to assist the patients in performing the fundamental activities of life (ADLs) such as in feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming (i.e. combing hairs, brushing teeth etc.), ambulation (i.e. walking) and so on.
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As a Home Health Aide, the CNAs may also have to bear 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.
Maintaining the patient’s health and hygiene
Naturally, the ultimate aim of the CNAs (or any other medical practitioner) is to nurse the patient to a healthy condition.
So, as a part of their CNA duties, the CNAs are well trained to keep the patient’s bed dry, in case the patient has an incontinency problem or a high sweating rate which wets their bed and may act as a factor for germ-dispersion.
Also, the CNAs are expected to make fresh drinking water available for the patients. After all, water is life and so keeping the patient’s body hydrated is of utmost importance.
If necessary, CNAs will have to encourage the patients to drink more amount of water. Noting down how much water the patient consumes also falls under the general CNA job descriptions.
How Do The CNA Duties Vary From One Health Industry To Another?
If you are wondering about the rumor that CNA duties varies from one healthcare facility to another, then let me inform you that this particular rumor is, in essence, true but not altogether. Variation arises because of what job position a CNA has got hired in.
For instance, a CNA 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.
Furthermore, the CNA job duties can vary according to the competencies of a specific Certified Nurse Assistant. By this, I mean to emphasize that some CNAs also take additional specialization courses such as wound management, long-term patient care and IV therapy.
These specialties do let the CNAs to apply for specific CNA duties, which, as a result, allow them to narrow their general job descriptions.
However, you should not outlook the fact that all CNAs initially graduate from the CNA schools (be it online or class-environment based) and these educational institutions generally provide more or less identical training programs, albeit with some few variations that usually arises due to the demand of the healthcare industries of a country.
So, you can be sure that basically each and every CNA are well trained for performing the general nursing assistant job descriptions but it is their choice of specializing in particular CNA duties that creates variation in the job duties among the CNAs.