i am currently working as a CNA on a tele unit. my job is super interesting. here's a typical day for me (not including all of the unexpected events of course, which are many). I work 12 hour shifts in a hospital with a very well known Heart Center and CCU; lots of patients!!
0645: get report from night shift CNA, and a list of my patients and the nurses that have them.
0700: introducing myself to pts, do vitals, some orthostatics, help pts to bathroom, work as fast as i can safely afford to, as this is for 10-13 patients in all ranges of indenpence and level of accuity.
0830: chart vitals, help with breakfasts, baths, beds, bathroom, ADL's, ambulate pt's, get transfers from ED and CCU, or overflow from wherever.
1100: second set of vitals, blood sugars on ACHS people, help with lunches, transfering zillions of patients to/from treadmills, cath lab, xray, PICC placements (IR), etc. more baths and ADL's for the late sleepers.
1400: I&O's (most cardiac patients, esp. CABG people are on strict fluid restrictions. empty foleys, hats, ostomy bags, tally up drinks from B and L trays, and water pitcher, pass more ice water for those who can have more.
1500: third set of vitals. usually a lot of admits at this time, after the poor person has been languishing in ED since like 0300 (they are usually very unhappy, hungry, tired, scared, etc. by the time they get up to tele) we have 2-3 circ nurses, that only do admits and discharges because we have SO MANY people coming and going on Tele. You will too. : )
1600: second round of blood sugars, lots of charting on vitals, ADL's, sugars. D/C iv's, foleys for those who have been discharged.
1700: ambulate, dinner stuff, bathroom stuff. transferring patients to TCU, home, SNF, wherever. help secretary take off orders. clean up the floor, empty linen, be a gopher for the nurses.
1930: exhaustion. drive home, eyes droopy, back tired, frazzled, stressed, full of new learning experiences. one day closer to being a nurse myself.
FYI, in my experience, many tele, if not most tele patients, have had open heart surgery, so they are on "sternal precautions", which means they can do just about nothing for themselves, even if they are young-ish (40's would be young), so you have to be prepared to do a lot of hard work. Also, a cool thing about tele, is many patients need cardiac monitoring, but they have other, non-cardiac medical issues, so you can learn quite a bit. Also, code Blue ("COR") gets called pretty frequently, relative to other floors I think), so be prepared for that. And it seems to me that many tele patients are extremly old people, just aging naturally, yet they are subjected to so many painful and pointless, invasive procedures that they end up dying from. Why put a pacer in a confused 97 year old lady?? But you will have NO option to voice your concerns, because as the CNA, you do what you are told, and what the patient needs. Healthcare sometimes seems to be about keeping suffering people alive at any cost.
Of course, you will learn tons about cardiac meds, EKG strips, crazed doctors, and CCU nurses who are just very impressed with themselves.
As far as CNA work goes, I would recommend it.
Quote from kddex
Hi, I was just wondering what kinds of things CNAs would be doing in telemetry. I want to get a job in the hospital but don't know which area I want to work in. Any suggestions or ideas? I have no prior experience except clinicals. Thanks