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

What is a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, is a healthcare professional who has undergone a set amount of training and examination to work directly alongside nurses and physicians to provide complete patient care. While the exact duties of a CNA can slightly vary based upon the facility they work at, the universal goal of this professional is to assist patients in their required health care needs while reporting to a Registered Nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse according to CNA Certification Scoop. While there are variations when it comes to the exact roles and duties of this profession, there are several universal qualifying descriptions apply to all CNAs regardless of their employment.

The Primary Roles and Functions of a CNA

The title and subsequent work duties involved with a CNA can dramatically vary based upon where they are employed. For example, the duties required of a CNA can vary between those who work in hospitals and those who work in adult day care centers. While the majority of facilities that employ CNAs include health care settings, these professionals may be employed anywhere a patient liaison is needed. Therefore, in the most basic sense, a CNA is the eyes and ears of RNs and LPNs.

Regardless of where they work, CNAs is heavily involved in the day-to-day functions of patients. They provide a host of basic health care treatments to patients of all sizes, shapes and genders. These professionals are also responsible for gathering patient-specific information, such as gather vital statistics. Generally, a CNA reports all their findings within a patient to their supervisor. This role is vital as they spend far more time with each patient than traditional nursing or physician staff members.

Becoming a CNA

If you’re passionate about caring for others and wish to make a real difference in the lives of patients, then this may be the ideal position for you. While each state monitor and manages the working requirements for CNAs, most states require a set amount of training and passing a certification examination. Training is offered by community colleges or through specific organizations, such as The American Red Cross (see this site for more info). Regardless of how you receive your training, these professionals must sit for and pass the state certification examination, which consists of two parts: written/theoretical exam and a clinical/hand-on examination. Once you’ve passed, you’re able to register with your state’s Nurse Aide Registry.