We often see them roaming around the hospital corridors, carrying out tasks delegated to them, caring for one patient to another. They have been our partners in crime (err.. care?), providing basic needs to patients. Who are we talking about? Of course, they are no other than Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).
CNAs work under the supervision of nurses in delivering high quality care to patients, but what exactly are their duties? Let’s pause a bit and take a closer look at CNAs’ and their duties and responsibilities.
- Feed, bathe and dress patients
CNAs assist patients perform their basic needs as well as personal hygiene such as giving bedpans, urinals, baths, backrubs, shampoos, and shaves; helping with showers and baths.These patients might include stroke victims, the elderly residents of nursing homes, or individuals recovering from an accident, injuries or surgeries in a hospital.
- Check vital signs
CNAs are responsible for maintaining patient stability through taking and recording patient vital signs from taking the temperature to monitoring the blood pressure, measuring the weight, testing urine, and recording intake and output information. Routine tasks such as these are classically the initial steps of a patient’s visit to a physician’s office or hospital.
- Serve meals, make beds and keep rooms clean
CNAs are responsible for serving meals and even feeding patients as necessary. Also included in their duties and responsibilities are making beds and helping clean rooms, cleaning out bedpans and changing soiled sheets. They also have the chance to have regular, one-on-one contact with patients, thus developing compassionate relationships that can help people make it through times of illness with dignity.
- Set up medical equipment and assist with some medical procedures
This may involve laying out tools for the next patient exam or perhaps moving heavy medical equipment from one room to another. There are states that allow CNA’s who have had the appropriate training to assist with or perform some medical procedures, such as drawing blood.
- Answer calls for help and observe changes in a patient’s condition or behavior
CNAs provide patient comfort by utilizing resources and materials, transporting patients, answering patients’ call lights and requests, and reporting observations of the patient to nursing supervisor.They do not only observe for obvious changes in the patient’s physical condition, but given how much time they spend with patients, they may also note subtleties of patients’ emotional state, which can have immense impact on helping patients make it through a trying recovery or come to terms with a long-term condition.