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The Basic Tasks of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Are you interested in becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) but wonder what the normal job tasks are? Before you enroll into CNA classes, find out if becoming a CNA is for you by reading through the duties one must undergo to take on this role.

In essence, the CNA provides personal assistance to patients or clients that need help with activities of daily living and basic healthcare. All of their tasks are done under the supervision of the RN or Registered Nurse. The CNA should have a significant amount of experience in patient assistance and must be certified by the local regulating body, in order to be allowed to perform the full scope of their duties.

CNA’s must be able to perform emergency procedures on a patient and is able to keep calm in a high-pressure situations. They should be certified to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and are able to initiate a Code Blue. A Code Blue is a situation when a patient requires immediate resuscitation and all available medical staff need to be called in.

CNA’s must be able to check their patients’ vital signs, such respiration, temperature, pulse, blood pressure and the level of pain. Depending on the attending physician’s instructions, these must be recorded at least once a day. If the temperature or blood pressure is down, these may indicate that the patient is either in shock, hemorrhage or the cardiac output is decreased. If the temperature is raise, the patient may have contracted an infection. If the blood pressure is raised, then the patient may require blood pressure medication or a special diet. Changes in pulse patterns may be signs of developing heart problems. CNA’s should double-check the accuracy of the readings if the vital signs have changed significantly in a short period of time. Anything unusual should be reported to the attending nurse of physician.

Helping the patients move around is also part of the duties of a CNA. They help the patients stand, walk or exercise, if they have difficulty in doing these things on their own. The CNA’s also help prepare and transport the patients prior to any treatment, surgery or examination that they should undergo.

CNA’s are also involved in patients’ personal care. Although menial, these tasks are still significant to keep the patients comfortable and to maintain hygiene. These personal care tasks involve feeding, oral hygiene, bathing, nail care, wound dressing and bed-making.

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