- How much flexible do you have in the nursing homes? I don't know that I'd get any sayso -- but I like to work nights.
If you can find an acute care setting it would be easier or even a LTACH, they tend to have 12hr shifts so you can work more in less days. When I was a CNA I liked to work Through the weekend, maintained fulltime hours while going to school full time. The hardest shifts to typically fill are 3rd shift weekends.
- Individuals describe backbreaking work. Is it that difficult?
You will be tired. CNAs do +90% of the physical labor in healthcare. Its not that you stand most of the day, its not that you are literally walking 10-30 miles per shift (depending of facilty setup), its not that you are placing a ton of weight and strain upon your feet and back by transfering and moving pts, its everything.
I was an xray/ct tech in the military...if you're familiar with Radiology, is it similar?
Just trying to gauge the level of activity. On a related note, when individuals say that they have 7 pts in a night does this mean that you're single-handedly responsible for caring for those pts that night...? Are these pts walk-ins?
Depends upon facilty but basically yes. You are assigned a group of patients that you have to get vital signs on, answer call lights, do rounds on, change briefs etc. It is very common for CNAs to work in 2 man teams, assisting each other on more difficult/heavier patients. Walk ins? Not sure what you mean by that but again it depends on the type of facilty you are working in. Sub acute, SNF, Acute care, LTACH, assisted living etc.
- What else do you do besides bathing, changing bedpans, keeping company and wiping up booties? *laugh* Do you have other duties to accomplish besides patient care? Do you file charts or anything like that?
Again depends upon facility. Plan on doing vital signs as a major component of your work day. Charting ADLs, feeding patients, walking patients, answering call lights, monitoring/sitting with confused patients, exercising patients, emptying Foleys and JP drains etc, keeping track of I&Os.
CNAs are a HUGE part of the Nursing team, again they do much of the physical point of care duties leaving the RNs and LPNs to focus upon assessments, medications, charting, wound care etc.