What exactly are the duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA?Just as with the job itself, the duties of a CNA varies with the position. The range of responsibilities will depend on where you work, and in which state you reside. Generally, you are expected to be the “eyes and the ears” for the attending nurse.
The first obligation and main duty of a CNA is care of your patient. You’re usually responsible for the daily care & management, and routine of your patient. This is particularly so when caring for elderly or geriatric patients in nursing homes and extended care facilities. You may also be assisting physicians and nurses to care for patients who are physically disabled, mentally disabled, ill, or injured.
If you work in a facility such as a hospital or nursing home, there will be specific tasks and objectives that you’ll have to manage. In a hospital, this will vary by unit. You will usually be required to monitor and record vital signs: temperature, respiration, pulse, and blood pressure, and assess the patients level of pain. Some departments will have other specific functions, such as assisting with eating, dressing, and moving your patient. Certified Nursing Assistant duties often include taking patient history.
You must be quick to observe and know what to do in times of emergency situations. Protocols for various procedures, emergencies, etc., will vary by state and institution. Your duties are part of the total health care package and program for your patients and clients.
One reason that there is a chronic shortage of qualified nurse assistants is the high turnover rate. This is often due to stress and burnout. Avoiding burnout is something the CNA should be aware of. This is the result of continually feeling overwhelmed by your job duties. The medical field ranks number one in the area of job burnout. It is important that you pay attention to burnout, since patient care is the first thing to suffer.
Your employer will depend on your to report accurate information on patient charts. And if you think something requires immediate attention from a Nurse, then you need to be able to communicate that message effectively. You also need to feel comfortable going to the Nursing staff for assistance and questions as the need arises.
The Nursing Assistant profession takes a very particular type of individual to be able to meet the requirements. Remember that your employers have a responsibility to protect all the patients and provide the highest possible level of care.
The duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant are always challenging, but at the same time they can be enormously rewarding, exciting, and usually very satisfying. For those interested in pursuing a career in the medical field, obtaining your certification as a CNA can be exactly what you are looking for!