Seeing my grandma suffering from age-related problems filled me with lots of emotions. Though I was a teenager at that time, I still recognized the type of care elderly people needed. We were lucky to have a good nurse in Mrs. Vachon who used to provide nursing care to my grandma at our home. Since my parents were working, I was alone with the nurse at home after school. The time I spent with Mrs. Vachon inspired me to take a nursing career, which I eventually did soon after finishing my high school diploma. I also made up my mind to dedicate my service to elderly people and that is why throughout my career, I worked only in nursing home.
I have grown up in my career working with senior residents, and here I am to share my experience with all you new budding nursing assistants. Having worked for so many years, I have understood emotional, mental, and physical needs of elderly people. If you too are inspired to do something for aged, then you must know these duties of a CNA in nursing homes.
The first day of my joining in a neighborhood nursing home was full of excitement. The facility was not big, but it still had the capacity to accommodate 60 patients. The supervisor introduced me with each patient and staff. First few weeks of working just went by observing other nurses in the job. Slowly, I began to pick all details relating to nursing care. And after a couple of months I was all set to handle all types of activities I was assigned.
Since I have seen my grandma being cared by a nurse, I was already aware what old people needed. My routine used to start by going through the duty chart and taking feedback about patients from the outgoing nurse. I was assigned to take care of 10 residents in my shift. As the shift used to start early morning, I used to assist my patients with toileting, brush their teeth, give them a bath, comb their hair, and change their dress.
Once they were ready for the day, the next responsibility was to give them breakfast. Before that, I used to go through the their medical file to understand the type of morning meal recommended by the doctor. Checking any medication prescribed with breakfast was also in the routine.
Half n hour after the breakfast, the next duty is to take vital signs. It would start from checking the blood pressure and temperature. If the result were above normal, my duty was to inform the supervisors immediately and work on their advice to control the vitals.
When you are about to join a nursing home, you must remember that most of the residents in the home are senior citizens. Such people are in no way different from kids in terms of nature, ignorance and stubbornness. Therefore, duties of a CNA in nursing homes are challenging than other medical care settings. Nursing home duties will keep you busy for the entire day. Since healthcare facility in nursing homes is more diversified, duties of a CNA in nursing home would depend on the unit or ward you are being deployed.
Coming back to my experience, I would like you to know that you have to help them wear and change diapers. This duty is essential to maintain the dignity of each resident. You must keep this duty at the top on the priority list. I had to assist residents in walking or moving whenever there was a need to take them to the treatment. You have to both lift and carry them, or you can take help of wheelchair. Whatever method you choose, it should be done without any injury to either of you.
Duties of CNA in nursing homes also include preventing infection and bedsores. You have to clean and dress wounds regularly to help residents recover from injury and prevent infection. There will be many elderly patients who cannot move being weak and due to injury. Lying on a particular position for longer hours may develop bedsores. Nursing assistants have to take care in preventing bedsores by changing their position in the bed regularly after two hours.
You should also prepare yourself to do cleaning job if you are interested in working in nursing homes. I used to enjoy cleaning room and keeping the area sterilized. There is no smallness in doing this job. After all, it is CNA’s responsibility to make residents comfort and provide them best nursing care.
To sum up the duties of a CNA in nursing home, I would say you have to assist residents in walking, with toileting, grooming, feeding, and anything that could make them comfortable and help in gaining strength to recover.