CNA Job Description
A certified nursing assistant is a caregiver to a person or a patient who is unable to perform his/her daily chores like bathing, dressing, etc. They are also referred as patient’s main caregiver in long-term care facilities or nursing. In order to do their job effectively, the CNAs are expected to love their work and be passionate about it. Hence, to provide a high quality care, a CNA performs his/her duties under the supervision of registered nurses or licensed practical nurses.
Simultaneously, they are also assigned to work on softwares for billing, health information and medical record charting. Experienced and trained CNAs can also administer medication of their patients. For a more descriptive information about the duties, requirements, and the working environment of a CNA, refer to the text below:
Key duties assigned to a CNA
1. To Fulfill the Basic Needs
CNAs help their patients in performing all their daily activities like having meals, bathing and dressing up. Most probably, elder residents of nursing homes, stroke victims or the ones recovering from injuries, surgeries or accidents are likely to get direct care from the CNAs.
2. Regular Check-Ups
Caregivers can also be given the task to take a regular note of their patient’s vital signs such as body temperature, pulse rate, etc. As all these are routine tasks, the initial aim of the CNA is to leave a good impression of the medical team since the patient will be visiting the hospital or physician regularly.
3. Healthy Environment
Besides keeping the patients neat and clean, it is also the duty of the CNAs to keep the surrounding environment of the patients healthy and fresh. Therefore, it’s their task to make the beds, clean the room, and serve appropriate meals to the patients. As they are personally connected to the patients, the CNAs are also responsible to strengthen and support the patient to fight through their tough times.
4. Assisting Patient’s Test
CNAs are also required to set the medical equipments in a proper manner so that it is convenient for the doctor to examine the patient. Storing or moving the heavy equipments from one place to another is also a part of their job description. CNAs who have an authentic training are allowed to assist the doctor with patients.
5. Observe the Patient and Call for Help
After working with the patients for a long time and that too on a daily basis, CNAs can easily spot a difference in not only their physical state but also emotional status. They help the patients stand strong through a recovery or long-term condition. Furthermore, CNAs play a significant role in creating a better lifestyle for their patients by offering them plenty of care and quality time.
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CNA Job Requirements
Soft Skills Requirements
- S/he must help the patients whole heartedly.
- Abilities to deal tactfully with patients, residents, staff, etc.
- S/he must work quickly and cleanly.
- A CNA should be patient and empathetic.
- S/he must be strong and able-bodied as they have to assist the patients with walking and lifting or moving the medical machinery.
- Quality observation skills for maintaining the patient’s physical and mental health.
Technical Skills Requirements
- Must be able to take correct specimens.
- Knowledge about several disorders and elementary knowledge for prevention and control of the same.
- Ability to ensure safety and hygiene of a patient.
- Must be able to understand psychological issues.
- The candidate must be able to understand and communicate in English.
- S/he must be at least 18 years of age.
- The candidate must hold a valid high school diploma or GED.
- The aspirant must not have any criminal background.
Working Environment of a CNA
CNAs in hospitals (be it private or public) work on various tasks, often the tasks that are related with day to day activities as the higher authorities have certain other important duties to perform and they are unable to take care of the day-to-day work in the hospitals. The CNAs in such sectors usually have higher chances of growth because of the experience and skills they acquire while working in a bigger nursing setting.
2. Nursing Homes
Nursing homes have highest demand for CNAs and it is increasing rapidly as most of the disabled, old age people, and people suffering from chronic diseases are found here. Maximum number of CNAs work in nursing homes and they have wide range of responsibilities in these clinical settings.
3. Living Homes
The task of these type of nurses is to look after the patient’s daily requirement, helping them with bathing, dressing, providing them proper nutrition, etc. Generally, they have to assist the RNs who provide actual medical care. Not many CNAs prefer to work separately for a patient at their homes therefore, less number of CNAs are found working as home health aides.
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4. Day Care Centers
These centers have the patients whose regular care givers are at work. The CNAs have only limited task to perform but, generally their tasks are tough as the patients rely heavily on the nursing assistants.
5. Government Institutions
Only a small portion of CNAs works in government institution like military, prison, etc. But, the pay is highly competitive and they are also eligible for the allowances and perks that are provided in government institutes.
6. Traveling CNAs
These CNAs have to travel to different locations for serving their patients. These do not work under any specific organization or authority for a long time period. If they are working in a nursing home for one week, the next week, you can find them in a hospital. They are paid higher than other CNAs but the job is also sometimes difficult as they have to travel to distant locations.
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7. Private Practices
As the amount of private practices are usually very small in number, this environment do not require many CNAs. But, many of these private practitioners are in the need of CNAs, so its worth a look. The added advantage of working in this type of clinical setting is that you do not need to work night shifts as the clinical hours are mostly during the day and the patients don’t stay overnight in the clinic.