I work in a long-term care facility that also has some beds for restorative care (for instance, people who are just in there to heal a broken hip and get walking again).
Hours: day shift 7 AM- 3 PM. I work every other weekend and get one weekday off per week, never the same day. I actually like the varying schedule.
Duties: Get report from charge nurse. Then boost some people up in bed, transport some to the dining room, rouse others. Pass out breakfast trays and then feed those who need help. Meanwhile listen for call bells, as there are some who will need to be toileted right after they eat. Pick up trays and document what everyone ate. Bathe and dress the residents on my assignment (which changes every day because I "float" - some CNAs have the same assignment every day). Weigh and take vital signs if nurse asks me to. Make beds and tidy rooms. Transport people to activities if they want to go. All the while listen for call bells. Check in with other CNAs on my wing to see if they need help. We often have to work in teams to do transfers. It's good to help others if you have time, because what goes around comes around. Let the nurse know if I saw anything unusual going on with the residents. Then it's time to transport people to the dining room for lunch. After lunch we team up and make sure everyone is toileted, put people down for naps if they want, and transport others to activities if they want. We take around a hydration cart in the afternoon, offering drinks to anyone who is awake. Doing documentation takes a good twenty minutes usually, and sometimes the CNAs do it together. If I have independent residents I go around and ask them if they had a bowel movement yet today (at first I was embarassed to ask this, but they are all so used to being asked, it wasn't a big deal). Other tasks that might come up are documenting the belongings of a new resident, cleaning belongings out of a room after discharge, transporting a resident's belongings from one room to another, assisting the nurses with treatments, going to the basement to restock supplies, going through residents' toiletries to make sure every item has their name and room number on it, ambulating patients, calming wandering patients, locating residents' lost items, checking that batteries are charged, tidying common areas, delivering newspapers, comforting families who are visiting a dying resident, and just plain listening to residents that need to talk.
Things I like: I like all of it! I especially like ambulating residents, because I enjoy seeing them get stronger every day, and they get so cheerful and hopeful when they feel their strength coming back. I also especially enjoy making beds and tidying rooms. I enjoy seeing the look of comfort on a resident's face after they've had a chance to go to the bathroom and they are all clean and dry, or you just gave them a nice cup of coffee, or you simply gave them a big smile and a hello as you passed them in the hall. I enjoy being the first one to notice something important in a resident, like if a diabetic resident is getting shaky or someone is starting to get a rash. I really enjoy just getting to know the residents and chatting with them. That is the best!!
Things I dislike: I have been a CNA for 6 months now, and I'm not as fast or competent as the ones who have been at it for over 10 years, so I dislike that I am always the last one they pick to team up with when we do rounds. That will change with time, though!!
I dislike being told I have to get someone up and dressed, even if the resident cries, "No, no, no, don't bother me!!!" just because the family insists upon it. I GREATLY dislike that speed is the top priority. There are some residents that are needy for company, and I am forced to tell them I can't talk right now, because my supervisors don't want me spending my time that way.
It's a very rewarding job. I hope you will be blessed to work with as many nice people on staff as I have been. That makes a big difference, too. Whatever you end up with, you can always add to the positive aspects for everyone by being kind and speedy. Good luck!