Hospital nursing assistant

  1. For those of you who are nursing assistants in a hospital I am curious as to what your job description is. What hours do you work? What is the patient to nursing assistant ratio or rather how many patients are you assigned to?
    Do you get a break off the unit or do you always have to be on the unit for your break? Are you respected as a member of the health care team? How are you treated by the RN'S that you work with? What about the physicians, social worker, physical therapy, dietary and others who are on the unit? Do you perform range of motion excercises and ambulate patients?
    Do you assist swing bed patients? How many patients is your hospital licensed for? Do you do all of the following: admit vital signs, vital signs as ordered, accuchecks, chart vital signs, enemas, nail cutting, showers, bed making, clean IV poles, nebs, aqua pads etc.,
    personal possesion inventory, answer call lights, pass meal trays, pick up meal trays, intake and outputs and charting of this as well as charting vital signs, sit in and listen to report at the beginning of your shift, height and weights for new admits as well as charting them, sterilize colonoscopy scopes etc on colo days only (this is all you do on colo days),
    give bill of rights and obtain signature, pass ice water, on low census days or as time permits check oxygen supplies and replace as necessary for each room, etc?

    If you work in a hospital setting how long have you worked there? Do you have a set schedule? How many nursing assistants does your hospital employ full time and part time? Do you work in a small or large hospital? Do you work in a city, suburb or rural hospital? What is your starting wage with no experience?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   mcknis
    Wow so many questions and so little time to answer them in. Mini to answer the above questions, yes. I am able to do all of that and have been given training on how to do it. I am only a first year nursing student and have been an NA now for 5 months. I love it and wouldn't trade it in the world for anything else except for my RN degree that I'll finish in 1.5yrs. I do not mess with c-scopes, but I do perform colostomy care. I also don't clip nails nor do my RNs. Only our podiatrists do toenail care, and our pts aren't in long enough to get their manicure done (usually 48-72 hours).

    In addition to whats listed above I am allowed to do the following: set up 02 (nurse required to turn on although some tell NAs to do it), get labs/blood, D/C catheters, D/C IVs, apply TEDs/SCDs, place telemetry electrodes, EKG (if certified), insert catheters (if certified), draw blood (if certified), bag a pt during CPR, conduct CPR, etc (I know I am missing something.).

    I have a friend who is allowed to do much more because of the size of his hospital and the location (in the capital). Different hospitals allow their aides/techs to do more than others. Techs can do more than aides, and aides do more than volunteers.

    Starting pay in my area is about $8/hr-$10/hr based on experience/seniority. Toward our capital it is not uncommon to see $10-15/hr. Just for a reference CNA's/STNA's are making $10-15 in ECFs (nursing homes). Better pay in the ECFs, but greater burdens/pt load. I feel in the hospital, I learn more diverse things than the aides in the ECFs.

    Just my 2 cents,
    Scott
  4. by   miniaussie
    Hi. Thank you so much for your posted reply to my questions. You helped a lot! :spin:
  5. by   mcknis
    u r so welcome
  6. by   vrhodes
    Thinks are soooo different in Australia!

    I am a nursing assistant with an agency. they require us to be in our final year of study to be an RN. We do personal care- showering toilet, feed, but mostly we 'guard' the pt, ie I sit on my bum for most of the shift to ensure the patient doesnt get out of bed. I get $20 an hr AM, $24 pm and time and a half on weekends (in Aus dollars.)

    I love my agency!
  7. by   NurseKatie08
    I work a day/night rotation, 2 twelve hour, 2 eight hour shifts.
    If I work in the morning, I am assigned 5 patients for AM care. If you work evenings and nights, you are not assigned to particular patients, but will pick a side of the floor for tasks that need to be done.
    We get a break off the unit, some choose to stay on the unit in the conference room. I feel respected as a member of the healthcare team, and the RNs I work with are great, they all know I am a student, and take every opportunity to answer my questions.
    I ambulate and do ROM, take admission & as ordered vitals, do accuchecks, showers, make beds/change linens, turn and reposition, ADLs, answer call lights, d/c Saline Locks, do EKGs, incontinence care, pass trays, feed, set up tube feeds, do DSD changes, colostomy care, assist the nurses with procedures, teds/scds, set patients up for telemetry, relieve patient observers, and act as a patient observer when needed and I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting, and other things that the nurses allow me to do that they wouldn't allow the non-nursing student techs to do.

    I've worked in a large Boston hospital for two months, and before this was on a LTC dementia unit. I make 13.25 an hour, plus differentials. I have no clue how many CNAs are employed by the hospital. There are actually three different positions that serve the same essential functions: CNAs (Techs), Student Nurse I, and Student Nurse II, SN I's can do more than Techs, and SN IIs can do more than both Techs and SN I's. I'm a Student Nurse II.
  8. by   aerorunner80
    Quote from miniaussie
    For those of you who are nursing assistants in a hospital I am curious as to what your job description is. What hours do you work? What is the patient to nursing assistant ratio or rather how many patients are you assigned to?
    Do you get a break off the unit or do you always have to be on the unit for your break? Are you respected as a member of the health care team? How are you treated by the RN'S that you work with? What about the physicians, social worker, physical therapy, dietary and others who are on the unit? Do you perform range of motion excercises and ambulate patients?
    Do you assist swing bed patients? How many patients is your hospital licensed for? Do you do all of the following: admit vital signs, vital signs as ordered, accuchecks, chart vital signs, enemas, nail cutting, showers, bed making, clean IV poles, nebs, aqua pads etc.,
    personal possesion inventory, answer call lights, pass meal trays, pick up meal trays, intake and outputs and charting of this as well as charting vital signs, sit in and listen to report at the beginning of your shift, height and weights for new admits as well as charting them, sterilize colonoscopy scopes etc on colo days only (this is all you do on colo days),
    give bill of rights and obtain signature, pass ice water, on low census days or as time permits check oxygen supplies and replace as necessary for each room, etc?

    If you work in a hospital setting how long have you worked there? Do you have a set schedule? How many nursing assistants does your hospital employ full time and part time? Do you work in a small or large hospital? Do you work in a city, suburb or rural hospital? What is your starting wage with no experience?
    Job descriptions vary from place to place.

    On a typical day I have 11 pts, on a GREAT day I have 7.

    I choose to take my breaks on the unit (when I have the chance to take them) but we can go off the unit if we want (sometimes I will do this).

    I am definately considered part of the healthcare team. I work with great nurses who take me under their wings and really show me a lot of stuff that will help me in school (they know I'm in school so that's why they do it). I've never had any problems with anyone including doctors. I get along with everyone (PT, OT, wound care, Docs, Unit Secretaries, NPs...etc)

    ROM exercises=no ambulate=yes

    We're a good sized hospital. I think we're the largest in the state but I'm not 100% on that since another hospital has opened up it's new wing.

    What I do: vitals q4 (sometimes q1 or q2 depending on the pt), CBG's (either AC/HS, q6, q4, or q2), insert and d/c NG tubes and Foleys, d/c IV's, administer enemas (bag and the bottle kind), remove staples and/or sutures, assist w/wound care. There are a few other things I do as well but it depends on which nurse I am working with if I do them or not. Oh yeah, and the typical CNA type stuff I do as well.
  9. by   arpeggiated
    I work 12 hour nights. I have had anywhere between 4 and 14 patients. Our 3 med/surg units hold a total of 54 patients. When we're full, we're lucky to have 5 CNA's overnight (occasionally we'll have 2 that stay till 2300).

    My job duties are:
    vitals q4h, or more often as ordered
    vitals and room orientation on admit
    daily weights as needed (luckily, our beds weigh the pts)
    personal cares as needed (peri care all the frigging time)
    d/c foleys
    set up o2 and suction
    perform oral suctioning with yaunkers
    assist with dressing changes
    enemas
    baths/showers (not done often, because it's nighttime)
    I/O (oral intake, urine, emesis, drainage, and stool output)
    pass water before shift change (which is a pain, because our unit doesn't have an ice machine)
    computer charting vitals, measurements, adl's and activity, foley care (when we d/c)

    We don't do any nebs (RT's job) or colonoscopes (GI nurses's job). How we're treated depends on the nurse. Some will let me do a smidge more (ie, titrate o2 to get to a good sat, as long as the pt doesn't have COPD) than others. At night, there are no ancillary staff, but the few day shifts I've worked, I haven't had any problems with them.

    On my break, I can do what I please. It is my unpaid time. I can sit in the break room at the back of the unit, I can go run to Taco Bell, I can go to the nurses lounge and take a nap. As long as I'm back within my 30 minutes, it doesn't matter.

    California state law doesn't allow UAP to insert foleys or do fingersticks, even though they show up on our task list.

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