What Does A Certified Nurse Assistant Really Do?
Most CNA jobs are in hospitals which deal with patients who require long term care. The most opportunities are in healthcare facilities which deal with the terminally ill, elderly, hospices, and even home settings. As a result, common jobs of the CNAs are to help patients deal with the day-to-day jobs like feeding themselves, bathing, toileting etc.
The Daily Chores
CNAs are also used in hospital care units to assist nurses, but a few units like the Critical Care Unit and the Intensive Care Unit do not keep CNAs due to the high stress patient critical care and safety regulations. A Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) uses the nursing education and training to assist nurses with their patients or other employers in the healthcare industry. The daily chores involve:
- Serving meals,
- Answering calls for help
- Providing skin care and oral care
- Setting up medical equipment and monitoring it
- Massaging patients and ensuring no bed sores
- Assisting with braces and medical support equipment like ventilators and breathing tubes
- Helping the patient’s dress, eat and take a bath,
- Making beds.
- Assisting doctors in basic requirements like taking temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate.
- Transporting sick and handicapped patients
- Changing catheters and emptying catheter bags
- Cleaning and sterilizing essential equipment
- Dusting and cleaning patient rooms
- Assisting nursing staff in the care of geriatric patients
- Answering patient calls and intercom devices to assist bedridden patients.
- Post mortem care
It may seem like a lot of work and frankly, it is! Most of the time nursing assistants are stuck with the day to day care of the patient and it takes a lot of patience to deal with tired, annoyed and generally cranky patients. The work can be physically demanding, as it requires you to bend, walk and jog about for the most of the day. Muscle injuries may occur when you have to move heavy patients and equipment over the hospital. There is also a chance that you may get exposed to secondary infections and diseases though patients. But if you are carefully trained, it should not be as difficult as it seems. The turn over of staff is high as most assistants find that there are very few chances of promotions without further education. Most promotions will require you to study further as a medical assistant, registered nurses, or a BSN.
The Working Hours
The average time period of a Certified Nursing Assistant is about 40 hours per week. There are chances that you might have to work more than that as home-care patients require 24 hour care. You can work attached to a hospital, freelance or even work part-time in the evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays.
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