Deciding to become a certified nursing assistant may be the best career move you will ever have if you simply cannot decide whether working as a registered nurse or another member of the medical team. Aside from only months to 2 years to complete, becoming a nursing assistant gives you an eye view of what it’s like to work in a hospital setting and taking care of patients personally.
Should you find working as a certified nursing assistant be the right career move for you, then you are off to a lucrative and personally rewarding job experience. Learning all about becoming a nursing assistant is looking at the different job requirements of a CNA. A nursing assistant is a member of the medical team and a primary care giver for patients and clients. Here are the most common job requirements:
1. You will work side by side medical experts, nurses and doctors as all of you take care of the patients well being. You will follow orders given to you and render them in a courteous and professional manner keeping in mind total quality care for patients and clients. Simple orders like giving patients sponge baths to lower fever, giving an enema to prepare for procedures, assisting in bedside treatments for patients, etc are just regular demands of being a nursing assistant.
2. Aside from following orders from nurses and doctors, you have tasks that are regularly done by nursing assistants which are included in his daily work. You will replace bed linens daily, replace patient’s gowns, assist patients especially bed ridden clients in personal care, providing clean towels, blankets and pillow sheets and making sure that patients eat their meals provided by the hospital dietary. It is also your personal duty to provide patients with the best comfortable stay as they are confined in the hospital. Some patients may need more than physical care or treatment and you as a nursing assistant may be the only person to provide personal comfort and friendship as the patient struggles with his illness.
3. You will also assist patients as they are transported to different areas of the hospital for diagnostic procedures like CT scan, MRIs, colonoscopy, surgery and many more. You will carry patient’s charts and endorse them to receiving personnel and make sure patient is comfortable as you leave him for the examination. If you are asked to stay, you may assist in the procedure as well.
4. You may also be asked to join patient’s family and other members of the medical team as a patient is transported to another medical center or multispecialty clinic for further treatment. You may be asked to carry lifesaving equipment like IV lines, oxygen tanks and many more. Some nursing assistants may take extra units and become a member of a quick response team or join an ambulance team. You may assist EMTs in transporting patients, lifting equipment and even giving life saving measures like CPR and first aid.
5. You will assist patients as they are prepared for surgery by prepping the surgical area, briefing the patients on when not to eat and drink and even just by comforting patients who are anxious about surgery. You may also be asked to transport patients to the surgical suite and endorse him together with other members of the medical team. Post surgery, CNAs may be trained to measure patient’s intake and output and even his vital signs (respiration, pulse, temperature and blood pressure) should the nurse or doctor need to evaluate the patient closely. A nursing assistant must know the important emergency signs and when to call for immediate medical attention for patients post surgery.
6. If you are a nursing assistant assigned in a maternity ward or in the nursery, you may have different tasks is a typical day. Certified nursing assistants in these areas need to be knowledgeable in skills and behavior in taking care of mothers and newborns. Mothers are assisted from labor to delivery as well as when she goes to the nursery to breastfeed or when the baby is taken to the bedside for breastfeeding. You will have to bathe, feed, change, burp and clean newborns as they stay temporarily in the nursery and even when they are placed near the bedside. A nursing assistant should always be ready for first time mothers who may ask questions on how to hold their newborn, how to feed, change and even how to pacify their newborns. It’s a unique experience to become a part of a mother’s early days in caring for her baby and nursing assistants are fortunate to be a part of this experience as well.
7. If you are a certified nursing assistant in a nursing home, you may also have unique duties such as caring for seniors as they feed themselves, dress up, bathe and even ambulate. Although not all seniors in a nursing home require close personal supervision, a nursing assistant must exhibit a helpful nature for seniors to become comfortable and trust him in their care. Nursing assistants may also work with seniors in their own private residences; there are even CNAs that have become close friends and have developed lasting relationships with their employers allowing them to travel with their employers and seek further education sponsored by their benefactors.
8. Certified nursing assistants may also work with other types of patients that require special medical attention like post operative patients, children with learning disabilities, individuals with behavioral problems and clients who need physical therapy or other rehabilitative procedures. He may be employed by the hospital or specialty clinics or he may work on his own.
Certified nursing assistants duties may differ from one state to another or from one country to another so it pays to make ample research on these before you decide to take up CNA training and certification. You may also need to look up certification requirements and training entry-level requirements as well so you may start to prepare for CNA training as soon as possible.