The duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant will vary a bit depending on what type of facility they work in. Typically, though, most of their responsibilities are very much the same. CNAs do what nurses don’t have time to do in basic patient care, and this makes them a vital part of the healthcare field. Their importance becomes even clearer in crowded nursing homes, clinics and hospitals.
Basically, the duties of a CNA include helping patients through their daily routines, assisting in feeding and bathing, checking vital signs and simply helping with basic needs.
CNAs must know the correct method of turning and lifting patients in bed, how to assist them in walking and getting to the bathroom. They’re also trained in first aid in case they need it. Collecting urine samples and administering fundamental physiotherapy are other skills they know.
A very important part of a CNA’s responsibilities is offering emotional support and encouragement to their patients. CNAs form a connection to their patients easier than nurses or doctors because they spend more one on one time with them. In the event of long term care, it’s not unusual for CNAs to become friends with their patients.
As CNAs provide so much direct care to their patients, a very special personality is needed. CNAs must love performing work like this. Too many decide to become a CNA because they think it’s easy and affordable to be trained. They neglect to look ahead at the type of work they’ll actually be doing and the importance of what they do.
It’s not often advertised, but one of the duties of a CNA is to protect their patients’ rights. These rights are those of privacy, being informed of treatment, deciding if they want treatment or not, and their right to be part of their care plan. Often, CNAs are the only advocates their patients have.
While patient care is the largest and most important part of a CNA’s responsibilities, there may be times when they’re asked to perform other duties. This can happen in the event of a clerical shortage where they work. Such things as inputting patient data into the computer system or checking patient charts for completion can be part of these extra duties.
Over time, if it is decided that these duties are what the CNA is looking for, one should consider getting an MSN degree to move forward in their career.