CNA Job Description & Work Environment

The Overview Of CNA Job Description

They say that nursing is one of the noblest professions, and that is absolutely true. Not only does the job entail hard work, it also requires a lot of patience, understanding, willingness to learn, capacity to adjust and humility in following orders. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, you will be under the direct supervision and guidance of at least one Registered Nurse. You will have a lot of responsibilities, so you will need some training before you get your license.

To prepare you for the workload of a Certified Nursing Aide or Assistant, you can apply to various schools and training facilities offering CNA courses. After your training and internship, you will take a certification exam before you will be able to claim your license to practice.

As a Certified Nursing Assistant, here are some tasks that will make up the whole of your job description:

  • Collect and collate important data and information about a patient’s current condition. You will be tasked to monitor the vital statistics of patients, such as temperature, heartbeat and breathing rhythm. You may also have to note down the times when the patient eats, urinates, makes a bowel movement, and the like.
  • Administer medication on the hour. You will also be the one to administer a patient’s prescriptions. Your responsibility is to make sure the dosages and times are correct, and that the patient is not experiencing any type of adverse reaction to his or her medication.
  • Assist in daily personal functions. Most of your patients will either be old and infirm people, or perhaps people with special needs. You will have to assist them in their basic daily activities such as eating (breakfast, lunch and dinner), washing themselves (baths, brushing their teeth, washing their hair) as well as seeing to their personal hygiene (going to the bathroom to urinate or defecate).
  • Sanitize the area where the patient resides. As much as possible, you have to make sure that the patient’s bed, bedside, floor, and bathroom are clean and dry. Wet places tend to grow more bacteria, not to mention being a slipping hazard.
  • Communicate with your supervisors. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, you will be reporting your activities to your supervising nurse or doctor. You should always take notes, especially when new instructions are given, or old instructions are revised.
  • Communicate with the patient’s family. You will also sometimes have to serve as a messenger, updating the family about the patient’s condition, the doctors’ diagnoses and prescriptions, and many more.

The CNA job description may seem daunting at first, but it is very rewarding. The average CNA salary is comparable to a lot of health care professions, but it has more benefits. Once you are a CNA, you will have a lot of opportunities of moving upward to different positions including being a specialty nurse.

Getting To Know CNA Work Environment

Taking that huge step in choosing a career must have occupied a person’s mind at least once in his or her life. For some, it was quite easy and immediate. For others, it took them a considerable amount of time before settling on the right one. One of these deciding factors would have to be related to future working conditions.

It is a fact that the need for more healthcare professionals will continue to rise with each passing year, a product of the growing number of aging US citizens. According to the US Department of Labor, healthcare positions including Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA) are expected to increase by at least 18-20% through 2020. It would continue to grow, and both the federal and state governments are making sure that this need is addressed by promoting the healthcare industry and introducing more courses related to it.

The Work Environment

Being a CNA is hard work. It involves strenuous and often demanding tasks. This is why it is important for CNAs to be properly trained, tested and be knowledgeable on the proper procedures involving moving and lifting immobile patients.

As of 2010, a reported 1.5 million jobs were held by CNAs or Nursing Aides, Orderlies and other attendants in healthcare facilities, which is 55% of all employed healthcare workers. CNAs can be seen working in:

  • State, local and private hospitals
  • Home health care services
  • Hospice
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Residential care facilities

CNAs are often on their feet when on the job, taking care of patients. They should be physically fit and able to spend long hours walking, standing and lifting. Because they do most of the basic bedside care, they are in direct contact with patients on a daily basis. They are also expected to do some less than glamorous tasks such as changing soiled bed sheets and emptying bedpans.

Most work full time and provide care at all hours. Some may need to work during weekends, holidays and graveyard shifts. And since CNAs are sometimes tasked to lift patients, there is a risk of incurring on-the-job injuries, which can be avoided by observing safety procedures.

Job Outlook

CNA careers belong to one of the most in-demand job sectors today. Employment opportunities will continue to grow faster than in other industries because of the growing elderly population. With the rising demand for healthcare workers, it is surely a promising opportunity for those considering a CNA career. Just like with other careers, getting the proper training will ensure favorable results in the future despite the physical demands of the job.

Therefore, judiciously thinking about what the future holds for aspiring CNAs in terms of pay, job opportunities, promotion and working environment can be compared to looking at a probable investment. In a way, it is an investment for a lucrative and bright future.

Without a doubt, there are plenty of career opportunities for aspiring CNAs all over the world. Beside the overflowing opportunities, aspiring CNA professionals would also require determination and the heart to go through it in order to become successful.