Certified nursing assistant or CNA is referred with many different titles. Each state calls these healthcare professionals as per their convenience. That is why you will find them with titles such as patient-care assistants, nursing assistants, and state-tested nurse aide. No matter what label they carry, their role is the same. You can find them working in varieties of healthcare settings. From hospitals to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, private clinics, and many more. They are even called by families to look after a sick member at homes. Wherever they work, they take orders from Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN), and Physician.
The title of certified nurse aide is offered to trained and passed-out students of the competency evaluation exam administered by the respective state. This designation is meant for new entrants and thus is the lowest tier of the nursing profession. However, the hierarchy position has nothing to do with the role. In fact, they are regarded as an important member of the health care team. What they do for the patients or clients, and the medical employers are unmatchable with other positions. Just simply mentioning that they take care of patients will be too less to define their job. You can call them a multi-tasking people who perform all types of responsibilities.
Though the tasks assigned to them vary according to the employment settings, there are some routine duties they have to do that helps the patients in getting comfort and healing from their problems.
One of the basic duties of certified nursing assistant is to take vital signs regularly. This task has to be performed several times in a shift depending on the patient's conditions. Since a patient's condition can be examined with the count of the body temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration, they have to do their crucial steps as needed. Further, they have to measure clients' body weight, height, collect blood and urine samples, and watch the kind of food consumed to ensure the sick is offered required nutritions. Observing and reporting the changes in patients, whether good or bad, to the immediate supervisor is also important.
Medical illness, accidental injuries, and old age kill the body strength. People suffering from these problems are not able to do even the minor activities on their own. Here, certified nursing assistants perform a key roll by assisting them in taking personal care. Necessary and routine activities like bathing, grooming, toileting, and eating are possible only with the help of nurse aides. Male nurse aides will assist patients in shaving and dental care. For female patients, the nurse aides assist in hair and skin care and nail polishing.
Helping in Moving
Patients who have lost all their strength and cannot even raise their hands needs extra care from personal care to feeding. In addition, such patients also need to be moved in the bed at regular intervals to avoid bedsores. Nurse assistants take care of this important task and ensure that the bedridden person does not get afflicted with bedsores. If a patient cannot manage to get up from the bed, she or he has to be lifted safely and transferred to the appointment using the wheelchair.
Nursing assistants just do not have to take care of patients' cleanliness, they also have a responsibility of keeping the patient's room clean and free from any infection. They do the minor cleaning of the room and get help from the housekeeping department in case any major work is required. They even change the bed linens and send them to the laundry.
Certified nursing assistants' job is not restricted up to providing personal care. In fact, they have to do lots of talking as well in order to encourage patients for recovery. They use their maturity and common sense while interacting depending on the patients' interest, and social background. Whenever they feel like patients is in a need of emotional support, they immediately offer the care. They even interact with the family members of the patients and answer their queries.
While working for a single patient at home, nursing assistants do the laundry, grocery shopping and prepare the meal. When the family members are out, they even receive and pass on telephonic messages. If the patient is able to walk, they take her or him for a walk in the nearby park or arrange for transportation to meet the appointment.
Now that you know what certified nursing assistants do, you can decide if you are made for this profession or not. When you start working in this position, you may certainly feel like you are doing a lot a work. No doubt, it is indeed a tough job. However, the fulfillment you will experience in this profession is not possible in any other career. If interested, you can check how to become a CNA.