Certified Nursing Assistant – Basic Job Description

So you’re interested in starting a new career as a certified nursing assistant. While you may be aware of the requirements of this job, are you truly aware of its required functions and duties? While many begin their career as a CNA due to their passion for helping others and learning as much as they can about the health care industry, others become confused once they step foot on the floor for the first time. While the exact job duties of a CNA can vary based upon where you’re employed (for example, hospitals require different functions than other health care facilities), the primary job functions are universal.

Common Job Functions for Certified Nursing Assistants

As stated earlier, the exact job description of a certified nursing assistant will vary based upon where they are employed. This being noted, the most common job functions for a CNA include:

  • Assisting nursing staff in treatments and patient care
  • Tending to patient personal hygiene
  • Delivering food and other necessities
  • Maintaining a clean and sterile environment
  • Assisting the patient in dressing and performing other common functions
  • Ensuring the quality of life for each patient is met and exceeded
  • Assist in transferring patients
  • Assist in daily exercises based upon the requirements outlined by the physician or nursing staff
  • Ensure the patient Care Plan is strictly followed
  • Perform light clerical duties on behalf of the nursing staff

CNA Job Functions in a Mental Health Facility

One of the largest employers of CNAs, outside of hospitals, are mental health facilities (www.cnacertificationscoop.com). If you enjoy dealing with people who require a special level of attention and care, then this may be your ideal employer. In this health care facility, CNAs are responsible for dealing with patients who have various mood disorders, trauma conditions, suicidal tendencies, drug and alcohol abuse as well as severe depression/anxiety disorders.

Much like in a hospital setting, CNAs in a mental health facility work directly underneath a Registered Nurse to ensure the treatment and comfort of patients is carried out. While the aforementioned job functions are applicable for this position, mental health facility CNAs are faced with a unique set of responsibilities:

  • Maintaining patient privacy
  • Respecting the rights of patients within the mental health system
  • Provide emotional support to patients
  • Gather and sort documents required for nursing and physician staff
  • Perform other light clerical duties
  • Assist nursing staff with daily rounds while monitoring the health and emotional state of patients
  • Documenting the daily activities of patients, which include physical and emotional states
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