A CNA is a certified nurse assistant or certified nursing aide who works alongside registered nurses to assist in taking care of patients. And although the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks of a CNA is a nursing home, nurse assistants work in a variety of health care facilities – from hospitals, to clinics, to private practices. But the truth is most new CNAs are hired by nursing homes or other facilities that take care of the elderly, and for this reason, this section will focus on your duty as a nurse assistant working with the elderly. Even so, the job description is almost identical regardless of your employment setting.
As a certified nursing aide (CNA), you will work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse (RN), and your duties will vary, especially based on the shift you choose. For example, if you work during the day, your responsibilities will include assisting patients with dressing, bathing, food, medicine (if any), daily exercise (if any), transporting to other departments for other types of medical procedures, therapy sessions, or social activities. You will also monitor and track visitor, and basically ensure the safety of your patients and residents.
If you choose to work during the afternoon/early evening, your duties will be similar to the morning shift. In other words, you will be responsible for assisting the patient with food, hygiene, medicine, transportation to and from different facilities, and the list goes on. The afternoon shift is somewhat similar to the morning shift.
As a nurse aide working during the night shift, your job is a little less hectic. You will typically do rounds every 2 hours to ensure the safety of patients. You will also answer call lights, make sure patients who require adult diapers remain clean and dry, and assist others to the bathroom when needed. You will also help certain residents wake up, and in some cases, depending on where you work, you’ll also have to help with bathing, but since the night shift is usually 11pm to 7am, this is not generally the case.
What’s described above is merely a brief overview of the duties of nurse aides. All in all, prepare to be involved in housekeeping, hygiene, administering prescription medicine to patients who need it, assisting in the surgery room when needed, dietary care, regulating visitors, transporting patients from different areas of the facility, maintaining patients blood pressure and other records, and list goes on.
As you can see, your job as a CNA is to help others who can’t help themselves. You are responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of patients and residents.