Considering a job as a CNA? Then, you may be wondering what CNA duties you can expect. The primary job of the certified nursing assistant (CNA) is to provide their patients with basic care and help them in daily activities that they may struggle with, such as personal hygiene tasks, like taking a bath. Due to the personal nature of the job, the CNA job description should include compassion, people skills, and a joy for helping others. In nursing homes or long-term care facilities, the CNA can be the patient’s primary caregiver.
Certified nursing assistants work under registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, or licensed practical nurses (LPNs.) To excel as a CNA, individuals must also have excellent communication skills since they are expected to escalate patient issues and concerns to their supervisor.
Additionally, CNAs are expected to work with various medical technologies, like health information software, medical record charting software, and billing software. In certain facilities, the CNA will be responsible for providing the patients their medication, but this normally depends on the certified nursing assistant’s level of experience and training along with the state’s regulations.
CNA Job Description
CNAs help patients with their activities of daily living. There also are some CNAs with additional responsibilities. The basic patient care functions of the CNA’s job include:
- Checking vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.)
- Providing patients bathing and dressing assistance
- Serving patients their meals and help them with eating
- Toileting assistance as well as providing and emptying the bedpans
- Collecting information on treatment plans and patients’ information from their care team of doctors, nurses, and caregivers
- Cleaning and sanitizing patient areas
- Answering patient calls
- Lifting patients and helping reposition into their beds, exam tables, or wheelchairs
- Examining patients for blood in the urine, bruises, bed sores, and other wounds/injuries
- Changing bed sheets and restocking patients rooms with needed supplies
A certified nursing assistant acts as a channel of communication between the patients and doctors and nurses. The CNA also records and transmits all issues to the medical staff. Other CNA duties may entail transporting patients to operating rooms or treatment units and setting up medical equipment as requested by doctors or nurses. However, the extra duties that are assigned will depend on the state where the CNA works.
Those who are looking to become CNAs should know that the job is not glamorous. At times in your nursing career, you may find yourself witnessing things that other people don’t want to see. From cleaning up after a patient to dressing wounds, CNAs are often tested to their limits on a daily basis.
CNA Salaries & Income Outlook
Career prospects for certified nurse assistants are expected to grow and maintain their momentum over the next few years. The CNA profession is anticipated to grow at an 11% rate, which is faster than the average job growth. Demand for 24/7 personal services is on the rise as the population grows older.
Wondering much a CNA earns? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for CNAs as recorded in the agency’s Occupational Outlook Handbook is $28,530. However, earnings will vary depending on where you work. There are some cases in which more experienced nursing assistants can earn more than $36,000 annually.
What CNAs Learn in School
While you don’t need to attend college and obtain a bachelor’s degree to become a CNA, you’ll need to undergo CNA training and to pass a CNA certification exam. In class, you’ll learn about checking vital signs, infection control, and how to personally assist patients. Additionally, important topics like patients’ rights and communication skills will be covered as well.
Upon completion of the CNA program, you will be required to take the certification exam, which typically includes a manual skills test and a multiple-choice exam.
Quality Career Pathways offers a 76-hour CNA course, which is typically completed in 5-6 weeks – with a day class that can be completed in just two weeks! And, a GED or high school diploma is not required to register for courses with Quality Career Pathways. Contact us today at (402) 609-9583 to learn more about our CNA class!