Med/Surg Question.

by cna13126 (New) New

Specializes in Geriatric. Has 2 years experience.

I was wondering if some one could give me an idea of what its like to be a CNA on a med/surg unit of a hospital? I've only worked in nursing homes and was considering a job change. Thank you!


Specializes in ICU. Has 1 years experience. 634 Posts

My first CNA gig was on a general med/surg floor. It was supposed to be tele, but our general floor was closed for renovation, so we got it all. I worked day shift, 7am-7pm, and here's how my day went:

- get assignment, print worksheets (my team was anywhere from 9-16 patients a day, with 13-14 being average)

- report with off-going nurse aide

- blood glucs on my fingerstick patients while going down my row of rooms and checking in on everyone/writing my name and the date and the nurse's name on the whiteboards

- breakfast - pass trays and feed/assist those who needed it (usually only 1-2 patients per shift)

- morning vitals on everyone

- report with nurses when I give vitals and they give me anything else I need to know about the patient's care (labs I needed to collect, activity, turns, requests)

- turns (and q2 hours after that)

- baths/showers and linen changes on half my patients (days did patients in even numbered rooms and nights did patients in odd numbered rooms)

- lunch blood glucs

- pass lunch, feed

- take my lunch

- 1300 vitals

- ambulate patients, pass ice water, field call lights

- 1700 vitals, dinner blood glucs, empty foleys and tally Is&Os going down my row of patients

- pass dinner, feed

- pull trash and check for soiled linens

- chart (we charted our vitals, I&Os, and heights/weights - nurses charted everything else)

- give report

- go home

And of course, in between there is all the toileting (usually just emptying commodes and potty hats and foleys, very few bedpans), call lights, cleaning up, admits (prepare a toilet kit, welcome patient, explain the room and bed and schedule, admit vitals and blood gluc and height and weight), discharges (packing up personal belongings, wheeling patients outside, stripping linens and trash from room, wipe down equipment), running to lab, running to blood bank, running to the scary basement to CS for commodes, running to the scary 8th floor for admit packets, applying telemetry monitors, changing batteries in tele monitors, keeping track of patient requests, communicating with the nurses, and stocking.

It wasn't too bad when I had awesome techs and nurses to work with. I did it for a little over a year before cross-training as a monitor tech and then transferring to the cardiology department.


Specializes in Geriatric. Has 2 years experience. 2 Posts

Thanks for the reply, it gives me a clearer idea of what I can expect if I land the job.


Specializes in Med/Surg, Float Pool, MICU, CTICU. 196 Posts

I'm getting ready to start on this unit as well :)

My first cna job was in LTC and lets just say I LOVE :heartbeat my residents, but did not care for the work environment (staffing issues and co-workers :uhoh3:). What I did learn from LTC is time management. When your unit is always short staffed, you learned to move quickly to get things done.