January 29, 2015
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
A Certified Nursing Assistant or a CNA works as an assistant to a nurse or doctor. In the nursing field, this is an entry level position that does not require the intensive training that is required for other nursing specialties. This is a very popular option for anyone who is looking to get into the healthcare sector but does not want to go through several years of nursing school or medical school. However, while a certified nursing assistant may not have the same amount of training or knowledge as a nurse a doctor, they must have the basic medical knowledge necessary to be able to answer patients’ questions and conduct medical related work. Interaction with patients is often necessary so good communication skills are essential.
A CNA carries out a wide variety of tasks under the supervision nurse and a doctor and carrying out tasks as instructed by them. The basic job roles of a CNA include:
There are several variations in the role of a CNA, depending on the kind of work setting.
CNA jobs in nursing homes as well as in assisted living facilities are majorly in demand. A lot of these settings require professionals with at least the basic medical knowledge to take care of the elderly. The geriatric population in these settings require continuous medical care and attention. This role can get challenging at times because it is a very physical job. Working in nursing homes and assisted living facilities often involves taking care of patients directly right from the time they wake up and need help getting out of bed to helping them eat their food or use the restroom.
In a hospital setting, a certified nurse assistant typically works under the supervision of an LPN (licensed practical nurse) or an RN (registered nurse). A CNA’s job duties include interacting with different patients on a regular basis, monitoring vital signs, providing basic personal care and apprising the nurse or doctor in charge of any changes in the patient’s condition. CNAs who work in specific units of the hospital may be given other specific job roles that are related to their department.
At a private practice, a CNA usually sits at the receptions and acts as the first point of interaction with the patients when they arrive, taking down patients’ history and other necessary information and answering all their questions. In this role, part of the responsibility may also include conducting preliminary tests such as checking vital signs, getting weight and height measurements and other relevant details.
In addition, there are several other work environments where CNAs may be hired. This profession is highly in demand and is expected to keep growing over the next 30-40 years.