Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant can be rewarding work that provides a valuable service for people in need. The main employers of CNAs are nursing homes and the range of job duties required of their nurse aides varies from facility to facility. But there are still some commonalities between all CNA work, so new nursing assistants can expect to perform a couple job duties no matter where they end up.
Whether you work in a hospital, a nursing home, or a private household, you will be required to help your patients with their daily organization. This involves storing personal belongings in easy to reach places, making beds, doing dishes, and generally cleaning the living space to protect patients from infection and diseases. Bed making is the most common chore for nursing assistants because of the increased amount of time that disabled or elderly patients spend in bed.
Many patients that are in need of nursing care cannot feed themselves. The level of independence varies between people, but most CNAs will be required to assist their patients with eating in some way. This may include buying groceries, preparing meals, or hand-feeding people in need. As a daily ritual for every living person, feeding is something that all CNAs will encounter at some point.
Many patients that are in weakened physical condition or disoriented mental states need a lot of assistance with their personal hygiene. For elderly or injured patients, bathing is not daily as it is for more active people. Nevertheless, all patients must be kept clean in order to protect them from infection or skin deterioration. CNAs must take special precautions for people that are in bedfast because of the very common occurrence of bed sores. Hygiene is the best defense against bed sores and pressure ulcers, so all CNAs are constantly assisting their patients to stay clean and dry.
Ambulation is another way to say moving from place to place. Elderly patients in nursing homes still like to be active, but sometimes their physical conditions prevent them from doing the things they used to do. CNAs must help their patients get to and from daily activities or just around the house. This might involve simple support while walking or more careful procedures such as transferring a patient from a bed to a wheelchair.