What do CNAs do?

  1. I am applying to a nursing school and hopefully I should be accepted soon. I'm contemplating becoming a CNA, but I was wondering what CNAs do. Anything would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
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    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1

    8 Comments

  3. by   RN BSN 2009
    CNA's do Vitals, ADL's with patients, baths, pericare, grooming, feeding, emotional support, monitoring reactions to medications... any tiny other odds and ends
  4. by   fasolagrrl
    Hi,

    I'm not a CNA or a PCA, but a second semester sophomore nursing student in a 4 year program. We've just started our clinicals and I think having the patient contact experience that would come with being a CNA would be incredibly beneficial. I've been told that I can qualify to be a CNA when I finish this semester, so I plan to get a summer job doing this work.

    Sylvie
  5. by   sissyboo
    I had a job as a CNA for a little while, wish it could've lasted longer!

    Iceyspots prettywell covered whats "expected" of CNAs.
    It's good to be around a medical setting for a little while, you can observe other nurses and ask TONS of questions you probably couldn't get answered elsewhere.
  6. by   Sippy
    I decided to work as a CNA in acute care for 6 mos prior to starting Nursing school and I am so grateful I did it.
    I just completed my first quarter of the Nursing program and having a little bit of medical background (I'm also an EMT) really helped me. You pick up alot, such as medical terms, signs/symptoms, knowing the roles of PT, OT and RT. Just stuff you wouldn't know otherwise.
    I also believe it will make me a better nurse since, I have actually learned the best way to move, bathe, feed, toilet a patient. Absolutely nothing grosses me out, I can do anything! I also know how as a CNA I have been treated by nurses, so I know how I will treat CNA's (who work their a$$es off) when I am a nurse.
    Do it! You won't regret it. I feel sorry for the girls in my class who have absolutely no clue of what it's like in the real world. Not to mention, some facilities (if you prove to be a keeper) will offer to pay your tuition. You have to promise them something in return, but...... Might be worth looking into.

    Sippy
  7. by   dorselm
    Hello,

    I've been a CNA for almost 4 months now. If you wanna know what a day in the life of a CNA working at an LTC facility is like, then view my previous post. Hope it helps.
  8. by   Billsgirl
    Hi! I joined this forum and have been looking around getting educated silently for awhile! Thanks to everyone by the way! I was lucky enough to get into the CNA class this summer where I am going to school, and I am a combination of NERVOUS and EXCITED! Could anyone who is interested please share their experiences and advice for me? I hope this doesn't sound awful, but the Nursing Home part makes me slightly uncomfortable, and I was hoping to hear from anyone else who felt or feels the same way as I do. My future plans are to be a Maternal/Child nurse and Labor & Delivery. Thanks!!
  9. by   amanda1229
    In an LTCF? Here's the basic rundown of my day as a CNA in a LTCF.

    6:30-8:00 - Arrive, dress, check & change, and get-ups for every resident. Make sure they are groomed properly, have their dentures in or glasses on if needed, teeth brushed, and sat at the breakfast table. We are really lucky if we are on time everyday, because between close to thirty residents (eight of whom are Hoyers, and four of whom are confused), it's a LOT of work, sometimes I show up closer to 6:00 just to make it to breakfast on time! After each resident is up, we also make all the beds (which adds about ten minutes total onto the breakfast prep time, it sucks!).

    8:00-9:00 - Feed residents. At our facility, we currently have close to twenty assisted feeders. Some of whom are confused, and two are MR, so they need COMPLETE one-on-one feeding assistance. We also have a bed-bound resident who one of the aides needs to feed, and she is quite difficult to feed. Breakfast is busy, but we have to get food and liquids down everyone (it's obviously important) so it can be a struggle sometimes.

    9:00-9:45 - Check and change, strip, and lay down every resident. I was taught to leave no clothes/briefs on below the waist for any resident (unless independent, obviously) but I've heard other facilities don't do this for dignity reasons -- which I can see. But it's just to help eliminate skin breakdown.

    9:45-10:30 - Since everyone (except those who don't lie down, on my wing only a few) is in bed, we are answering a lot of call lights, toileting residents, getting showers done if the bath aide isn't working (which is usually seven or eight showers, ten to fifteen minutes each). And, again, you can see where time is a restraint there. I usually use this time to get some of my charting done, too. Charting for a CNA at my LTCF includes BM charting for every resident, restraint record logs, and behavioral and assistance charting for a few residents. We also take our fifteen minute paid breaks at this time.

    10:30-11:30 - At 10:30, while still answering call lights and toileting residents, we start checking and changing the residents, and getting them prepped for lunch. I usually let me aide partner go on break at 11:00, and I continue to answer lights, toilet residents, and get them prepped. I also get up a couple of Ax1 residents, or all depending on my partner, before I take my lunch break.

    11:30-12:00 - When I get back from my lunch we finish getting our people up, which goes by SO much faster when they're all prepped! We get them up, groomed, and out to the table. We're usually RIGHT on time or a few minutes late for lunch at 12:30.

    12:30-13:30 - Everyone eats lunch. This is usually the better of the two meals. Everyone likes a meal at noon, I mean, really -- I wouldn't want a complete meal at breakfast (juice, water, milk, coffee, eggs, bacon, toast -- geez!) Not that I don't understand WHY they get the big meals, but still, that's a lot for someone to force down your throat.

    13:30-14:00 - Once again, everyone is laid down, checked and changed.

    14:00-14:30 - The day gets easy after this, I chart, take down trash and laundry barrels, ask my independent residents if they've had BMs during the day (do this do this do this! Don't let residents who don't need suppositories get them, not fair, too many aides are too lazy to do this). I also might visit with some residents, or if I have time, do things like paint their nails or massage their arms and hands (esp. if I'm on our Alzheimer's unit, there's more time for things like this). I report anything to the nurse I've noticed during the day (unless it had to reported immediately) and give her my outputs for any residents with catheters.

    I really, really love my job. Even if I have to get up at the a$$ crack of dawn, it's still exciting to go to everyday. The only bad thing is the time schedule is so delicate, unless third shift does a lot of prepping residents for breakfast (I usually get everyone dressed and prepped when I work third), then you can easily fall apart. If there is a fall, it is pretty much guaranteed you will be late for the meal. And when you're late, the administrator or DON and ADON will complain and you will hear about it -- but it's their job, so I don't fuss about it. But I do love being a CNA, and when I get my LPN and eventually my RN, I will be sad and miss it, you have so much contact with the residents.

    Just remember to stick to procedure, your coworkers will not use gait belts because it takes too much time, but just do it anyway. You don't want to get fired. Don't do Hoyers alone. Don't do Ax2s alone. Read the care plans and know them well, know your residents well so you can personalize their care, ask their family about them, etc. We had a woman on our Alzheimer's unit who could never explain to us why she was so uncomfortable and so upset -- until her granddaughter randomly told me she was NEVER barefoot or plainly dressed at home, and when I implemented that into her care, she's been happy ever since. Family will be a great resource.

    Also, remember to choose a shift you will be happy with, you have to happy in healthcare or else you won't be the best giver of healthcare (and so on, yadda yadda, but it's so true).

    Whew, long post!
  10. by   pumpkin92356
    C.N.A.'s are the residents mentor, we are the ones the families see caring for there beloved family member. The CNA is the one who hears the resident's life stories about their children and grandchildren etc. We are the usually the first one they see in the morning and the last one at night. I have been an aide for 30 years because I love my work. Residents enjoy it when you remember the little things that they like that makes them individuals. Most of the time we get so overloaded with work that we tend to treat the nursing floor like a factory. Lock and Load lets get this bath done and that resident fed. I have found that even though I myself am strapped for time in the mornings just taking a minute to say good-morning to a resident or commenting on a new hairstyle or outfit they may be wearing before they ring that call lite. Nine times our of ten your resident is going to be happy for the rest of the day. I had a little lady on our unit tell me the other day "It doesnt cost anything to be kind" You know what the CNA does as far as hands on care now, but dont forget the mental care each and every one of your residents need everyday.

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