Hospital CNA - What is your day like?

  1. Just curious, could you tell me what the flow of your day is like? What are you responsible for as far as basic patient care vs. the RN, (i.e. do you do all the turns and toileting and answering call lights?).
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    About SilleLu, ADN, RN

    Joined: May '13; Posts: 151; Likes: 303


  3. by   mstearns09
    It depends on the shift. If I work day shift, we get report and whoever is designated the "D" gets the vitals while the rest of us get patients up for breakfast (we also have an intermediate section of long-term care patients). Once breakfast trays have been passed and collected, we start tub baths, showers, and bed baths along with linen changes and answering call lights and doing admits and discharges as well as ambulating patients and toileting them. By 11, it's time for vitals and getting people up again. Lunch trays go out and we pass ice and collect trash. Second shift is different. We start with vitals, answer call lights and get people up around 4:30, 5:00 for dinner tray pass. After dinner, we ambulate those need it, take our dinner break, and pass ice and snacks again. At 7, we take vitals again and start getting intermediates ready for bed. We pick up trash, do visual checks, and lock down the hospital around 9. We do bed check between 9 and 10 and take out the trash. We may have admits or discharges anywhere in there.

    One caveat, though: I work in a very small, level 4 trauma hospital so we have other responsibilities besides just nursing. We sometimes get called to the ER to help transfer patients to the bed, commode, or bathroom.
  4. by   Mr Sacdiff
    I work on an oncology unit that doubles as a med/surg unit. We try to get all of our baths done in the morning (the night shift is responsible for at least 5 baths). We then begin checking blood-sugar levels and vital signs. We have about 3 hours or so where we cover each other for lunch and just answer lights and such and then start doing checks and vitals again. In between all of this we are completing I&O's on paper so the nurses can chart them at the end of the shift. We are responsible for emptying foleys, toileting patients, cleaning up incontinent patients, answering lights, etc, but the RN's are ultimately responsible for EVERYTHING. We have a job to do, but the RN's are expected to help when needed and make sure we are doing our own rounding and assisting with patient needs.
  5. by   ICUman
    I work in 2 critical care units.
    I usually check all the equipment each day at the start of shift-
    Glidescope, intubation kits, suction cannisters, ultrasound machines, bair hugger, glucose monitors, etc.
    This is done so that the unit can be prepared to handle an emergency.
    Since the units I work in are high acuity, the CNA/Tech are not directly assigned patients. I assist the nurses with whatever is needed.
    I usually put in a handful of IV's each day, remove arterial lines, place foleys, clean up a few patients, lots of turns, apply splints to broken arms, take some vitals, ambulate, hygiene. Those most exciting thing to me is assisting in Codes.
    When I worked in the Med/Oncology Unit I was much busier and the day passed in the blink of an eye.
  6. by   FutureCRNA?
    I normally have between 5-10 patients and I work day shift. Here is my normal routine:

    0645: get report
    0700: take vitals
    0730: make sure everyone got their breakfast trays & pass any water or fill ice packs as needed
    0800: start picking up breakfast trays
    0830: start giving baths & changing linens (ortho surgical unit, no showers), try to be done with baths by 1100 - I always empty linens after baths as well
    1100: take vitals
    1130: get blood sugars
    1200: make sure everyone got their lunch trays okay
    1230: pick up lunch trays
    1500: take vitals
    1630: get blood sugars
    1700: make sure dinner trays were passed okay
    1800: pass ice water & fill ice packs, empty trash as needed
    1900: give report & leave

    And of course that is peppered with a LOT of call lights. Our people can't get up alone because most of them were joint or back surgeries, so every bathroom trips is gait belt & walker with an aide in tow.

    Then we also bladder scan & straight cath or put in Foleys as needed. I probably do at least one a shift.

    Oh and also I would be receiving surgical patients as well and doing their post-op vitals and settling them into their rooms. And also doing pre-op surgical baths as needed.

    If I get slow periods (lol) I stock thermometer covers, cups, snacks, etc. and I always stock items we run out of on an as needed basis, like gloves. I tend to spend a lot of my time picking up trash and basically cleaning up after other people - both patients and co-workers unfortunately. If we don't have a unit secretary, I try to help out at the front nurses station whenever I can - updating boards, answering phones, etc. It seems like I'm in constant motion at work, and I rarely sit down, mainly just to chart which is fairly minimal.

    I love a good busy day I kinda hate sitting around not doing anything.
  7. by   FutureCRNA?
    In my huge post, I missed answering the questions lol sorry. As far as turning those patients who need it, normally the RN and I will do it together. Call lights are sent to whomever it's for - I get paged for bathroom, drink, positioning, etc. RNs get paged for IV issues, pain meds, etc. If the RN is in the room and the patient needs to use the restroom or bedpan, she almost always helps them. I work with great people, not ones who run around for 15 minutes looking for the aide to do what they could have already done themselves
  8. by   Here.I.Stand
    I was a hospital CNA for a couple years; I worked on an ortho/surgical unit. On nocs I did VS and FSBGs, did toileting for the 1-person assist transfers, refreshed ice water, kept linens stocked, checked the Polar Cares periodically to make sure they had ice (not sure what these are generically called; it was a pad that ran ice water through, placed on the knee for pain was attached to a cooler that held the ice), answered maaannnnny call lights, and passed breakfast trays. We only had 1 CNA on nocs, so if someone needed 2 people to assist with transfers or turning, the RN and I did it together. On PMs I also did VS and FSBGs, passed dinner trays, took pts' orders for the next day's meals, got pt's up to their chairs and changed their linens while up, did the sponge baths, did HS cares. We had 3 CNAs on PMs, so we helped each other more w/ the turning and transfers, but the RN was available also. The CNAs answered most of the call lights; after all, lots of times they needed something we could help them with--wanted another pillow or some juice, etc. Or they needed the RN for pain meds or to answer questions, but at least they were addressed and the bell was shut off quickly; we'd pass the message on to the RN. But they did answer call lights if I was busy w/ something. It's definitely a team effort!