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Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Job Description
Both medical and non-medical direct patient care are provided by certified nursing assistants (CNAs), who are also known as nursing aides. They are usually overseen by registered nurses and doctors and frequently help LPN nurses in a hospital setting. The typical CNA job description may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Assistance with various medical procedures
- Helping patients enter or leave their beds
- Helping patients to walk
- Tidying patients’ rooms
- Answering call lights
- Making beds
- Delivering messages
- Checking patients and reporting changes
- Collecting samples for testing
- Helping with patient hygiene
- Feeding patients
- Checking food and liquid input/output
Hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient services, long-term care facilities, health centers and other healthcare facilities, as well as private homes all employ certified nursing assistants to provide care to patients. The CNA job description includes many patient duties that other hospital staff find undesirable. Home health nurse’s aides usually work autonomously with little direct supervision.
The following are three of the most critical aspects of the CNA job description
Measuring Vital Signs
A CNA may be in charge of taking the vital statistics of a patient within certain settings. This consists of checking blood pressure, temperature and/or pulse. The CNA informs a nurse or other members of medical staff in the event that this data is irregular.
Helping With Patient Hygiene
Patients who are paraplegic or have limited motor skills and are unable to dress themselves can depend on the CNA for help. A nursing aide may also groom patients (e.g., shave or comb hair). A CNA will cleanse patients who have restricted motor skills or who are not capable of carrying out this task unattended, ensuring safety and good hygiene.
A CNA will help in circumstances where a patient is not capable of feeding him or herself or has difficulty doing so, cutting food into bite-size pieces and placing it in the patient's mouth.
Home Health Aides
Many CNAs are employed as home health aides. Persons in this capacity work directly in the homes of aged, disabled or otherwise debilitated patients. Home health aides may also do essential domestic and personal care household tasks, for example food preparation, cleaning and laundry and may sometimes escort patients on trips such as doctors appointments, besides the abovementioned duties on the CNA job description.
Training and Compensation
An applicant must successfully complete a state-approved training program to become a CNA. These courses are governed countrywide at both proprietary schools and junior colleges. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average CNA made an average hourly wage of $10.67 in 2006.