What do STNAs do?


I am starting my STNA training course next month and was wondering what the general responsibilities of an STNA are? Everyone I ask in real life say basically a glorified butt wiper :p But I would like to think there is more to do than that!


2 Posts

Specializes in Nursing assistant.

Hmmm..........we play many roles as a stna, we take care of their ADL's (activity of daily living) by helping them wash, dress, brush their teeth, hair, etc......also we pick up their room and make their bed, we help them with their food trays, feed them, etc....... it is a demanding job.......we are the eyes and ears of the nursing, when we notice something different and report to the nurse.... it is mostly common sense



977 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, ER, OR.

Well I worked as a nursing assistant prior to passing my state boards as an RN. It depends on where you work because the responsibilities may vary. For instance I worked 2 years in a hospital before becoming an RN at the same facility, and i was able to do VS, accuchecks, flush catheters, admin enemas, heplock IVs, suction via yankauer, d/c IVs, d/c foleys, insert foleys, and apply certain topical medications (lotions and creams). So my scope of practice was advanced because of training received at my hospital. We still were expected to assist with ADLs, pass ice water, and act as housekeeper/secretary/counselor/ etc. As mentioned by the other poster our nursing assistants are the eyes and ears of the nursing community. You are vital to the profession and it is important to report certain things to your nurse. If you feel that something is important and you tell your nurse, but he/she doesn't really seem to care, trust your gut and chart it! Your gut will be the best thing God has given to you and trust it. I have seen pts go down the tube quickly because the nurse didn't listen to the nursing assistants observation and gut instinct. Good luck in this exciting profession!


274 Posts

I think it mainly depends where you work. The three years I worked as an STNA was in a long term care facility, and glorified butt wiper pretty much covered my job description. Basically my duties were to shower, dress, feed and change linens. Rinse and repeat. It sounds like STNA's in a hospital setting though may be a more demanding, and enjoyable job. I enjoyed my patients at the nursing home, but unfortunately didn't have very much time to interact with them because there was always something/someone that needed cleaned. It was also a very physically demanding job and to be frank, the pay sucked for what you did and there was pretty much no respect from the floor nurses at any of the three facilities I worked for.

So bottom line I guess is to find a good work environment!

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