Being a Certified Nursing Assistant is not a walk in the park. The job, for one, calls for a lot of walking, standing and to some extent and in some cases, jogging or running (depends on the urgency of the situation). A CNA needs to be quite agile and physically fit for the job entails a lot of lifting and turning of patients.
What does a CNA really does? A certified nursing assistant assists an RN in ways like: taking responsibility of a patient’s basic nursing care i.e. bathing, feeding, changing linens and gowns, cleaning up and other related work. A CNA spends more time with the patient than any health care provider. A CNA help lighten the load of an RN in jotting down patient information, keeping tab on the patient’s needs and basically doing what has to be done as told by a superior.
Since a CNA has to spend more time with a patient with impaired mobility, thereby doing mundane work as bedpans, a certified nursing assistant should have a real compassion for others. A CNA should also be truly interested in helping other people.
A CNA’s workplace, usually a hospital, is a place where people are at their most vulnerable. Patients are sick; some more than others. A CNA should be emotionally stable – able to take in and take all types of traumatic situation. A CAN cannot show raw emotions when dealing with a gravely ill patient. In other words, a CNA must be able to comfort a patient and not the other way around. This is not taught in CNA classes.
CNA has to be trustworthy as he or she has direct access to medical and personal records of patients. RNs an MDs were sworn to respect the privacy of their patients. As CNAs could also work in private homes doing work such as helping the patient deal with banks and finances, trustworthiness and honesty are two very important characteristics too called for in a CNA.
A CNA should be flexible enough to do a wide range of work. Since a CNA sees and assists a lot of patients in a day and that no two persons are alike, so is the work. The exact duties and responsibilities of a CNA are based on the type of health care facility that she works in. The job typically entails on top of the previously mentioned duties, transporting patients and medical equipments. A CNA is just like a regular RN in terms of working odd hours and long rotating shifts.
Communication skills is required from a CNA as she must be able to express the patient’s condition to other members of the health care team. A CNA is also responsible for keeping records of vital signs and documenting of a patient’s medical record. A good work ethics is also desirable in a CNA. Are you up to the task?