Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, have a world of options when it comes to what type of medical setting they wish to work in. Some choose the laid back atmosphere of an assisted living facility while others may enjoy the environment of working in a pediatrician’s office. Still others, who are able to handle a more stressful environment, may choose to apply for work in an emergency room.
There are benefits of working as a CNA in the emergency room, that one thing is certain. And it may very well be the only thing that is certain in this environment. The biggest benefit and drawback all at the same time is the constant variety you’ll encounter. You may see a child with a cold one minute and a man with a broken arm or head trauma the next. That brings us to your first duty as an emergency room CNA: expect the unexpected.
Emergency Room CNA Duties
Your specific duties as an emergency room CNA may vary depend on where exactly you are stationed within the emergency room. You may assist in admitting patients with non-life threatening conditions by the way of documenting the complaint, taking preliminary vital signs, and asking a series of basic medical history questions.
If you are working in the emergency room triage itself, you may have a few more responsibilities. You will monitor vital signs of patients frequently and assist nurses with answering any patient call lights. If a patient requires the use of the facilities but is unable to do so alone, you will also help them to the toilet and back. It is important that you document everything you do in the patient’s chart and never attempt to complete a task for which you are not qualified.
An emergency room CNA will also be responsible for making sure each examination room is clean and ready for the next patient after one has been discharged or moved. In most instances, this will only require you to change the bed sheets and pillowcases, as well as making sure there are clean hospital gowns readily available. The maintenance staff usually handles deep cleaning of the room, although there may be times that require you to perform the duty.
Working as a CNA in the emergency room is not for the faint of heart. You will be required to stand on your feet for the vast majority of the day and shifts can be as long as 12 hours. However, you will be on the forefront of emergency medical care, usually with a very good salary as compensation. If you think this sounds like the job for you, the first step is to enroll in a CNA training course. You can find many good online schools that can help you on your way to your new career. Once you’ve completed the training, you’ll take a final exam for certification and then you’ll be ready to land that dream job and get the satisfaction from work that you crave.