CNA Job Description
If you’re considering becoming a certified nursing assistant, then the first question you’ll want to know the answer to is exactly what does a CNA do? It should be noted that the CNA job description will vary slightly from state to state, and even within the various different environments that CNAs work in (e.g. hospitals, nursing homes, home health, etc). That said, the majority of the basic duties you’ll find listed on a CNA job description will be the same. This article will cover what those duties are.
The main role of the CNA is to provide the patient with basic care and to assistant them with tasks they might have difficulty performing on their own, such as bathing. There will also be reporting and communication responsibilities. This will include communication with colleagues, as well as patients and their families. A typical CNA job description will include:
- Help patients with their personal hygiene. This will include things such as bathing patients, helping them with shaves or shampoos, teeth cleaning and helping them with travel to the bathroom.
- Dress or help patients to dress.
- Take vital signs such as a patient’s pulse and blood pressure. This may also include other things such as urine tests. It will also include recording the results.
- Serve meals to patients and help them to eat them, if necessary.
- Provide adjunct care, for example changing dressings, applying ice packs and/or heat treatments.
- Help patients to move, lift them into beds, wheelchairs, etc.
- Transport patients to and from operating theatres and/or treatment rooms.
- Reposition or turn bed-ridden patients.
- Answer patients’ call lights and requests.
- Provide patients with bed pans and empty them.
- Change patients’ bedclothes.
- Examine patients, for example for bedsores, bruises, blood in urine, etc.
- Clean and sanitize patient areas. Implement other methods of infection control.
- Provide fresh water and snacks between meals.
- Restock supplies.
- Follow standard policies and procedures and adhere to professional standards.
- Listen to and address patients needs and concerns.
- Provide emotional support to patients.
- Maintain patient confidentiality.
- Report observations of changes in patients’ behaviour or condition to your nursing supervisor.
- Record and document information. For example, fill in forms and logs, etc.
- Participate in educational opportunities to increase job knowledge.
CNA Required Qualities And Skills
To be able to perform these tasks you will need the following qualities and skills:
- Good communication skills, both with colleagues and with patients and their families.
- The ability to work as part of a team.
- The ability to multi-task.
- A good bedside manner.
- Nursing skills.
- Good organisational skills.
- A compassionate, caring and empathetic nature.
- Good physical strength; you will be standing for long periods of time, and you will be required to help with lifting and moving patients.
- Good personal hygiene; medical environments have to be as clean and sterile as possible.
If you feel you have these qualities, then you may be ideally suited to the role of certified nursing assistant. You should be aware that the job isn’t a glamorous one. For example, you could be emptying bed pans and changing soiled sheets, or dealing with difficult patients. It is, however, an extremely rewarding job as CNAs make a huge difference to the quality of care that patients receive. The role is also in great demand; a demand that is only going to increase with an ageing population. It is also a great first step on the path to becoming a registered nurse.
Now that you know the typical CNA job description, if you’re interested in a career as a CNA the good news is that it can be a very quick process to get your certification. Check out our other articles on the CNA requirements and CNA training. You may also be interested in our article on the positive outlook for CNA jobs.
Finally, for an example of a real CNA job description check out this link here.