Basic Job Functions of a Certified Nursing Assistant

According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, the job outlook for certified nursing assistants is anticipated to grow exponentially between now and the year 2022. In fact, this growth is expected to increase by 21 percent, which breaks down to just over 300,000 new jobs. This dramatic increase in job availability makes this an attractive option for those wishing to engage establish themselves in a rewarding and stable career.

CNA Classes & Training

The first thing an aspiring nursing candidate must do is to sign up for local CNA classes in their state. A CNA is responsible for general patient care, which includes things like taking blood pressure readings, distributing proper doses of medication, and ensuring their patients are comfortable while in in their care. Through a training program candidates will learn these basic skills, as well as the theoretical knowledge necessary for administering care. In addition to the theoretical knowledge, students will undergo hands-on medical training as part of their CNA classes and training. Typically, an examiner will oversee a final test after completing CNA classes, which will determine if the student is able to apply for their state’s CNA registry.

Certified Nursing Assistant Summary

On a foundational level, certified nursing assistants work to assist professional healthcare staff, which include doctors, registered nurses and other healthcare professionals, with duties related to patient care. While specific duties may vary according to employer, CNAs are typically responsible for overseeing and implementing procedures related to personal grooming, bathing and feeding of patients. Other duties revolve around specific departmental policies, which include maintaining the highest standards of patient hygiene and comfort. CNAs may assist nurses in gathering vitals such as blood pressure and heart rate. The type of training and certification undergone by a CNA determines his ability to perform certain tasks or work in specialized facilities, such as nursing homes.

Patient Care

The primary function of a certified nursing assistant is to care for patients. While these healthcare professionals are limited in terms of what procedures a CNA may perform. That being noted, standard policies require a CNA to ensure a patient is fed, bathed and dressed. These skills are a standard part of the CNA classes you will take on your journey towards CNA certification licensure. While not every patient may require full-assistance, some require much more intensive care depending on their mobility level.

Along with ensuring the patient is clean and comfortable, CNAs assist other medical staff by gathering and recording vital signs. CNAs are typically responsible for gathering and delivering this information to registered nurses or physicians.

Other common duties include light clerical work. For example, a CNA is typically involved in direct communication with charge nurses and other advanced-level professionals regarding daily patient improvements or any degradation in their health. Certified nursing assistants are typically involved with daily patient life on a much more intimate level than other nurses or physicians. Therefore, all job duties and functions require sensitivity to the mental and physical health of patients while simultaneously communicating in-depth patient information to nursing/medical staff.

While a certified nursing assistant may not be the most recognized or influential roles within a healthcare environment, the function of this position is paramount to patient care and rehabilitation. If you desire to play an active role in the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of patients then a career as a CNA may satisfy your personal and professional goals. Consider applying for CNA classes in your area to take the next step in your medical career.