A Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, helps patients with their daily needs. Therefore, the duties include simple activities like assisting them at mealtimes, monitoring health changes, and reporting patient progress.
Hospitals and other places that offer healthcare need CNAs. They work closely with nurses and doctors to ensure patients are comfortable and cared for.
In this article, we talk about what CNAs do every day. We look at their core duties and how they help patients. We also see how the skills learned in school help them do these jobs well.
If you want to know more about CNAs and their importance in healthcare, keep reading!
The Core Duties and Responsibilities of a CNA
CNAs play different roles in keeping patients safe, healthy, and comfortable. As we discuss these tasks, we see how the skills CNAs learn help them in patient care and collaborating with other healthcare workers.
These roles also vary depending on the workplace setting. For example, in hospitals, CNAs often help with many patients for short times. They see lots of different health issues and work fast.
In nursing homes, CNAs usually help older people for longer periods. They get to know the patients well and help with their daily life. In assisted living facilities, CNAs support older people who can do some things by themselves. Here, they help with tasks that are more difficult for the patients.
Therefore, the duties described below are the general tasks performed by this healthcare professional.
Recording Vital Signs and Patient Monitoring
One of the big jobs for a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is to check and record vital signs. Vital signs include the heartbeat (pulse rate) and blood pressure. These signs tell us how the body is working. CNAs need to be very careful and accurate when they check these signs. Hence, they use special tools to measure heartbeat and blood pressure.
In turn, doctors and nurses use this information to decide how to care for the patient. If the vital signs change a lot, it could mean they need different care. So, CNAs tell nurses and doctors as soon as they see any big changes.
Assisting with Medications and Supplements
A Certified Nursing Assistant helps or reminds patients to take their medications and supplements at the time directed by the doctor. They often use a list or chart to keep track of each medication.
However, this is likely in assisted living or a home setting. It can include reminding them to take pills at the correct times or assisting them in handling medication packaging, depending on the guidelines and the level of care required by the residents. On top of that, it depends on the state rules on CNAs administering medication.
Assisting in Daily Activities and Personal Hygiene
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) help patients with daily activities and personal hygiene like bathing, dressing, and eating. These are important tasks because they help patients feel clean, comfortable, and cared for.
For many patients, especially those who are elderly or sick, doing these things can be hard. CNAs step in to help. They do this with a lot of care and kindness. They understand that it might be hard for patients to need help with personal things. So, CNAs make sure to respect their feelings and privacy.
CNAs have the skills to be gentle and patient while helping with these tasks. By doing these things well, CNAs help patients keep their dignity.
Ensuring Patient Mobility and Comfort
Certified Nursing Assistants safely turn, reposition, and transport patients to prevent bedsores and stiffness. They know how to lift and move patients gently using techniques like Fowler’s and Lateral positions.
CNAs also help patients get from their bed to a wheelchair or take them to different parts of the hospital or nursing home. Additionally, CNAs assist patients in walking using a gait belt, providing support and encouragement. They monitor the comfort and look for any signs of discomfort or dizziness.
Communication and Teamwork
A CNA communicates with the patient, the medical staff, and the family. When CNAs talk with patients, they need to be clear and kind to understand their needs and allow a patient to describe their health situation well.
CNAs also explain to the family how the patient is doing and what care they are getting. Further, they share information with the medical staff to plan suitable patient care.
Certified Nursing Assistants are often closest to the patients, helping with daily tasks to keep patients comfortable. They check vital signs, help with eating and moving, and handle personal hygiene tasks. Such assistance keeps patients safe and helps them recover faster.
CNAs also need to be great at talking and listening. They talk to patients, understand what they need, and comfort them. In addition, they explain things to families and work with doctors and nurses. Their hard work and care make a huge difference every day.