What do CNAs do? Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) work under the supervision of nurses and other licensed medical professionals as vital members of the healthcare team. Certified Nursing Assistants provide basic direct patient care to assist with daily living activities. They fulfill critical roles in various medical communities, including hospitals, residential care facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and home health services.
A Certified Nursing Assistant job description tends to include a vast array of different tasks that may change on a day to day basis, depending on the specific needs of the patients under their care.
Certified Nursing Assistant Duties:
- Measure patients’ vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration
- Assist patients with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, eating, brushing teeth, and using the restroom
- Collect urine or stool samples required for certain tests by physicians and laboratory technicians
- Reposition and transfer patients from their beds to wheelchairs, walkers, or other mobile medical equipment for transportation
- Execute housekeeping tasks, including making patients’ beds, changing bed pans, replacing linens, and collecting laundry
- Record patients’ health concerns and maintain reports of provided information for nurses to review
- Educate patients on range-of-motion exercises and stretches to relieve pain or improve functioning with certain chronic conditions
- Perform safety techniques, including CPR and first aid, in emergency situations
Certified Nursing Assistants not only provide necessary patient assessment, they are often a source of great emotional and physical support for the patients. CNAs work with patients daily to engage with them in friendly conversation and provide much needed interaction. Nursing assistants ensure that the patient is receiving the care that they need, being an advocate on their side for health. They consistently monitor patients’ response to care, record observations, and lend an ear to listen to the individual’s concerns. Certified Nursing Assistants also make sure that the patient’s room is clean, disinfected, and sanitary at all times for optimal patient comfort.
When nursing assistants are employed in residential care facilities and nursing homes, they often provide round the clock assistance for the patients’ personal care. If patients are unable to meet their own daily personal needs, CNAs offer tremendous support for effectively completing these everyday activities. Bedridden patients also depend on the nurse aides to turn or reposition them according to an established schedule for healing and comfort purposes. Overall, Certified Nursing Assistants are warm, caring, and trained individuals that are driven to help improve patients’ lives in multiple ways.