Medical field has spread it wings to many directions. Many healthcare branches are catering to different needs of patients. For example, some healthcare facility may focus only on diseases related to heart, while others may specialize in bones, old age, diabetes, etc. Depending on the facility and the services they are dealing in, the duties to be performed by a nurse assistant vary.
Students who are taking CNA training with a mind frame of gaining an employment in the medical sector learn everything about the duties to be performed by a nurse assistant. The crash course they take for joining a healthcare industry focuses on major routine activities each healthcare setting conducts. This means that they are ready to work in any setting with the knowledge gained through training.
Since they can take a nursing job in any healthcare setting, their duties may not be the same. For instance, a hospital nurse assistant would perform different responsibilities than the duties of a nursing home assistant. If you compare the treatment and services provided by a hospital with a nursing home, the former will always have an upper hand in this regard.
Then there are other places like private clinics, day-care facilities, adult care centers, centers for physically and mentally challenged patients, and rehabilitation centers. People willing to work in a nursing position need not have to bother about the duties of all these facilities. Though hospitals have different units that specialize in a particular treatment, what matters the most is the nursing care.
Most of the nursing duties will depend on the patients’ conditions. If a patient, who cannot move his/her hands or completely bed-ridden will need help in everything from brushing, bathing, grooming, eating, toileting and in moving when the treatment is scheduled.
It is the duty of the morning shift nurse assistants to complete all the above routine activities. They have to raise the bed with a lever so that patients are in a comfortable position to brush their teeth. When brushing the teeth is done, they have to assist them with toileting. They have to assist patients up to the toilet if they can move, or else they need to provide them with a bedpan.
Giving a bath to the patients will also depend on their conditions. Nurse assistants have to give a dry bath to bed-ridden patients. If patients can have a shower-bath, nurse assistants have to take them to the bathroom and help them get cleaned. When the bathing process is over, nurse assistants have to comb patients’ hair and help them in dressing. Completing all these tasks for each patient is not a tiring work. However, when the number of patients is more, it can surely make nursing assistants tired.
Another important and regular duty to be performed by a nurse assistant is to take vitals. Nursing assistant cannot skip or ignore this routine task no matter how boring it may be for them. Because vitals are important in learning the patients’ conditions, nursing aides have to record and monitor the differences after a regular interval.
Next, feeding patients with the right amount of food intake is also important. Doctors are the best to decide what type of nutrition and how much amount of calories each patient need. Going through their ailments and body needs, doctors make a chart of the type of food for patients. They also mention the time when they should be given the food. The nursing assistants have to follow the nutrition chart and ensure that patients are being fed with proper food. Many patients may not be in a condition to eat with their hands. Such patients need to be fed by nursing aides with a support desk or by shifting them to the dining hall.
The next in the list of duties to be performed by a nurse assistant is maintaining hygiene. Hygiene is important to protect patients from infection and help in recovering. Nurse assistants have to change bed linens, soiled and surgical dresses every day.
Among all these duties to be performed, the main responsibility of nursing assistants is to provide mental and emotional support to patients. Patients struggling to get back to their normal life need more than treatment. Nursing aides should take up this challenge and assist such people in dreaming for healthy and longer lives. Since doctors and registered nurses cannot provide individual attention to each patient, nursing assistants to shoulder this responsibility. Their main aim of employment is to assist patients and provide each of them with individual nursing care.
Job Opportunities for Nurses
Passing the final assessment test gets you listed and registered on the State Nurse Aide Registry and you can now search and work in any state across the USA without inviting legal trouble even if you don’t originally belong to a particular state. Getting through the final competency test heralds a new beginning for you with many types of CNA jobs to choose from. A person can pick between many health care service providers like hospitals, clinics, private nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, adult day care centers, asylums, acute care centers, community health centers, universities, laboratories, military hospitals, Government public health care centers, mobile health care units, research centers and also private homes of patients requiring round the clock medical care and attention.
If you have higher qualification you may also start at a better entry level salary and as you grow in knowledge and experience you could also get chance to work with the best brands in the health care industry. The CNA jobs have good future with average salary ranging from $20,000 to $30,000 annually. Sometimes a Certified Nurse Aide also has to travel to multiple homes to attend to the ailing patients. These types of CNA job is known as travelling CNA job wherein the Certified Nurse Aide personally visits the patients and takes care of them. He usually chooses a place or an area where reaching another place after finishing the job at one place will be easy to cover and within few minutes distance so that he can be able to attend to many patients in a day.
This CNA job however, doesn’t have a fixed working day or time and he can be called at any time of the day. Because of the nature of the job the travelling Certified Nursing Assistant is paid more than the one working in a regular set up. He is sometimes also paid for the distance covered to visit his patient. Again if need be the travelling Certified Nurse Aide is also required to stay at the patient’s home and devote full time at the patient’s service. This mainly happens if the patient is an elderly person unable to look after himself, a terminally ill person who is need of constant medical care and attention or somebody suffering from a long term illness. Besides, he also provides his help in household works like, cleaning the house, cooking and doing the laundry.
Other than this a certified nursing assistant can explore many other opportunities. He is required in every health care set up yet he should make sensible decision and always go for the one that best suits his expectations and long term career goals. He can choose from the below mentioned options to take his career further:
- Emergency Hospital Aide: He may work as an emergency hospital aide where his duties will include checking the patients in, receiving the family members, maintaining a record and keeping the doctor always in the loop about every developments taking place in a particular case. He also maintains files and records, answers the calls, helps with administrative responsibilities and other urgent duties as and when required.
- Nursing Home Assistant: A certified nurse aide may also work as a nursing home assistant and help with duties like, taking care of medicine, feeding the patient, helping the patients take bath, use the toilet, take him for a walk, maintain the patient’s personal hygiene, take vital signs like temperature, blood pressure and pulse and also maintain a daily record of the patient’s progress and forward the same to the concerned doctor so that appropriate treatment can be meted out to the patient.
- Home Care Agency Assistant: As a home care agency assistant the certified nurse aide has to sometimes stay at the patient’s home to take care of them and may have to carry out responsibilities like, feeding the meals, changing the bed, tidying up the room, monitoring the vital signs and documenting the progress which is to be forwarded to the concerned doctor, taking care of hygiene, nutrition, infection control and administering medication from time to time.
There are many CNA job opportunities that a quality certified nursing assistant can make the most of. The job nature of a CNA may at times get hectic and interfere with your personal time and space with unscheduled call to report for duties even during holidays or when you are on leave but if you have the compassion and the motivation to serve the ailing and help them him see a better tomorrow this is the job for you.