A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is also known as patient care assistant, or nursing aide. CNA works typically under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or qualified healthcare professional, performing daily routine tasks for the elderly, the chronically sick, and disabled patients who can’t care for themselves.
After completing a formal education and meeting all the requirements, a CNA can get a job in various medical care centers, nursing homes, or long term care facilities. The major duties of a certified nursing assistant include but not limited to the following below:
- General Precaution and Infection Control: Hand washing is important before and after providing nursing assistance. It’s the CNA’s duty to ensure a clean environment and make sure to prevent the transmission of disease or the spread of any kind of infections.
- Personal Hygiene of Patients: This primarily includes bathing, dressing, shaving, nail care, among other basic personal patient care duties of a certified nursing assistant.
- Vital Signs Monitoring: Nursing aides will take and record the patient’s vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, pulse rate, respiration, level of pain, and bodyweight) at least once a day depending on the doctor’s order. Any unusual findings must be reported immediately to the supervising registered nurse or doctor.
- Patient’s Rights: Every certified nursing assistant should make sure that the patient’s rights are adhered to at all times. This would include privacy and dignity while patient care is being given, the right to information, acceptance or refusal of treatment, and confidentiality of patient information.
- Motion Exercises and Rehabilitative Measures: CNAs assist patients in ambulation and range-of-motion exercises, and other related rehabilitative care activities. This will help promote blood circulation and better health.
- Provide Emotional and Support Services: Nurse aides also provide proper emotional support to patients and their families, as well as fellow caregivers working in the same health care team.
- Dietary Care: Assist with dietary planning, meal preparation, and make sure that the prescribed food and fluid intake is followed.
- Collect specimens for Medical Tests: CNAs will collect samples such as urine, stool, and sputum for required medical testing.
- Help Regulate Visiting Hours: Helping regulate the visitors is a part of the job description of a certified nursing assistant. She or he will help control the number of visitors and provide information to them about the instructions from the nurse or doctor in charge with regards to visiting hours.
- Medical Documentation and Report: It’s the CNA’s duty to observe, document, and report clinical and treatment information.
CNAs should expect doing routine, basic nursing care tasks and sometimes physical activities. Those abovementioned main duties of a certified nursing assistant can give you some general ideas of what to expect working in a certain health care facility.
If you want to get additional info about the CNA’s roles and responsibilities, read the article Job Description for Certified Nursing Assistant, or simply browse our extensive archives for more CNA-related information.