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What to expect as a CNA in a hospital?

CNA/MA   (29,185 Views 9 Comments)
by PedsHopeful PedsHopeful (Member)

8,063 Profile Views; 302 Posts

I was recently hired for my first CNA position at a major hospital only 10 mins from me. :lol2: After 12 years working in a cubicle I am really excited to finally be working in a hospital. I was wondering if other hospital CNA's on here could give me some ideas of what I should expect, a typical day, what to look out for/pay attention to ect. Any words of advice? I really want to do well and not look like an a$$, LOL. I will be on a med/surg floor. Thanks!

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yousoldtheworld has 5 years experience.

1,196 Posts; 9,813 Profile Views

I don't work at a hospital now, but I used to. What shift will you be working? You can expect different things from each shift.

In my experience, this is how each shift went.

Days: Arrive, get report, take vitals, feed breakfast/set up trays, pass towels and linens to your rooms and greet your patients, take give each of your patients a full bed bath and change their gown/dress them, depending, change and/or make your beds, feed lunch, do your charting, go home.

Evenings: Arrive, get report, take vitals, get linens and supplies ready for pm care, get patients ready for dinner, pass dinner trays/feed dinner/set up, clean them up, usually a bedbath before bed, lay them down, do rounds, do your charting.

Nights: Arrive, get report, take vitals, stock your linen carts, do rounds (which you will do every 2 hours), probably some cleaning chores (we had to clean shower rooms, walkers and wheelchairs, iv pumps, refrigerators, etc), help set up for breakfast, do your charting, go home.

Of course, in the midst of all that, on each shift, you will be answering call lights, running errands for the nurses, and helping toilet/changing briefs/etc. depending on the patients' continence. Of course, your duties might differ depending on what kind of unit you're working on.

I really liked working at the hospital. They are usually run a bit stricter than most LTCs, so be prepared to work hard, but they also tend to have better staffing and better teamwork. Be prepared to learn a lot. Congratulations!

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302 Posts; 8,063 Profile Views

Thanks for the great response! I will be working a mixture of days and nights, 1st and 2nd shift, though I could probably do the occasional 3rd (I have insomnia anyways). Sounds like its a very busy environment. I guess I can expect to drop some of these hateful pounds I gained sitting in my cubicle. LOL :yeah:

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112 Posts; 3,344 Profile Views

I work days in a hospital. I work both in a step down unit, and float to an ICU. They are very different. The step down we get report, do vitals, ask the nurses which patients are showers and which are baths, plan those and give them, change linens, do blood sugars, I&O's every two hours, answer call lights, take care of charts, etc. It is very, very, very busy :) In ICU the patients are bathed at night. But we do hourly I&O's, and many of the patients have hourly blood sugars, or q2. The call lights are less frequent in ICU, but you are still very busy.

Excellent experience for nursing school. I love it!

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MECO28 has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Float Pool-Med-Surg, Telemetry.

214 Posts; 7,791 Profile Views

Hi Everyone

I'm a second-year nursing student who just started working as a CNA in a hospital.I had worked as a home health aide for over a year and flattered myself that I had experience but working in a hospital is TOTALLY different and I'm feeling really inadequate. My question for all of you is: how long did it take before you had a routine down with basic care kind of stuff? At my old job I did a lot of nurse-delegated stuff like medication assistance but there wasn't as much basic care kind of stuff to do- positioning, transfers,etc. I worry that I'm not great at things like transfers, making an occupied bed and that sort of thing. I want to master those skills because I think RNs who have worked as CNAs are better at patient care than those who haven't but I'm...well...clumsy. I'm still trying to get down skills like doing a bed bath without getting the entire bed soaked and making those &*^*%$ hospital corners!

I was so psyched to get this job because I love the hospital I'm working in and hope to get hired on as an RN when I graduate but I'm worried they already think I'm clumsy and incompetent. I'm good at clinicals but somehow the CNA stuff seems pretty daunting. How long did it take you folks before you felt comfortable?:uhoh3:

Edited by MECO28

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bhanson has 2 years experience and specializes in Cardiac.

153 Posts; 4,234 Profile Views

Hi Everyone

I'm a second-year nursing student who just started working as a CNA in a hospital.I had worked as a home health aide for over a year and flattered myself that I had experience but working in a hospital is TOTALLY different and I'm feeling really inadequate. My question for all of you is: how long did it take before you had a routine down with basic care kind of stuff? At my old job I did a lot of nurse-delegated stuff like medication assistance but there wasn't as much basic care kind of stuff to do- positioning, transfers,etc. I worry that I'm not great at things like transfers, making an occupied bed and that sort of thing. I want to master those skills because I think RNs who have worked as CNAs are better at patient care than those who haven't but I'm...well...clumsy. I'm still trying to get down skills like doing a bed bath without getting the entire bed soaked and making those &*^*%$ hospital corners!

I was so psyched to get this job because I love the hospital I'm working in and hope to get hired on as an RN when I graduate but I'm worried they already think I'm clumsy and incompetent. I'm good at clinicals but somehow the CNA stuff seems pretty daunting. How long did it take you folks before you felt comfortable?:uhoh3:

We usually don't worry about getting the sheets wet since we'll be changing them anyway. The exception is when the patient is too critical to turn or the risk is not worth it (eg. pt still has an arterial line). In the latter cases preservation of dry linen is more important and liquid use is kept to a minimum.

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302 Posts; 8,063 Profile Views

When giving a bed bath, and you don't want to get the sheets wet, we usually use towels. When we get to the part we are about to wash (legs, arms, ect) we put a towel or folded bath sheet under that part of the body before washing. That way the sheets stay dry, and when you are done, you remove the towel for the next body part. That's what we did in the VA hospice I worked for clinicals for patients who couldn't be moved that much and didn't need their sheets changed. Hope that helps. I am worried I have forgotten some procedures of how to clean certain body parts since its been a few months since I've done it so I am currently reviewing some CNA procedure videos to refresh my memory.

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ctmed has 4 years experience and specializes in PACU, LTC, Med-Surg, Telemetry, Psych.

316 Posts; 7,068 Profile Views

You will get to move around, which I think is a godsend. You will be in air conditioning and wear the most comfortable work uniform ever designed - scrubs.

Show up, work hard. Make sure folks are dry and you should be fine.

Watch out for jerk families with the hospital admin on speed dial (bring two with you in the room) and make sure no urine is around during first of shift, med pass, and end of shift.... you will be okay. If you do more than that, you will excel.

Edited by ctmed

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3 Posts; 793 Profile Views

Hi Everyone

I'm a second-year nursing student who just started working as a CNA in a hospital.I had worked as a home health aide for over a year and flattered myself that I had experience but working in a hospital is TOTALLY different and I'm feeling really inadequate. My question for all of you is: how long did it take before you had a routine down with basic care kind of stuff? At my old job I did a lot of nurse-delegated stuff like medication assistance but there wasn't as much basic care kind of stuff to do- positioning, transfers,etc. I worry that I'm not great at things like transfers, making an occupied bed and that sort of thing. I want to master those skills because I think RNs who have worked as CNAs are better at patient care than those who haven't but I'm...well...clumsy. I'm still trying to get down skills like doing a bed bath without getting the entire bed soaked and making those &*^*%$ hospital corners!

I was so psyched to get this job because I love the hospital I'm working in and hope to get hired on as an RN when I graduate but I'm worried they already think I'm clumsy and incompetent. I'm good at clinicals but somehow the CNA stuff seems pretty daunting. How long did it take you folks before you felt comfortable?:uhoh3:

I am also a new CNA, I recieved my certification in December, my first job was home care provided by the hospital and in the past two to three months I work only in the hospital now. I totally understand what you mean by the difference. When I first started I felt totally awkward and clumsy. Watching the other CNA on the floor with me was like watching a professional dancer. I still get that feeling from time to time when I am introduced to a new method. After a couple months I feel more relaxed now, and I am able to function properly and less clumsy. :)

My advice, relax. Ask for help and ask the CNAs that you work with for advice and tips on their methods. Eventually you will be able to pick and choose from their methods to form your own :D

As far as skills, practice, practice practice, they will improve quickly especially because you will be using them frequently. and again, ask questions if you are not sure you are doing something right.

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