What do you want from your CNA/tech?


  • Specializes in New in ICU; OB-GYN, PACU, Prehospital.

Hey there everyone.

I just accepted a job offer as an ICU tech (CNA). I've done some PRN work in the PACU, but I don't have a ton of critical care experience. If you want to know more about my prior experience, click here, cause I don't feel like typing it out again and most of you probably don't care.

The unit I will be working in is an all-encompassing ICU.... so there's cardiac, neuro, surg, med, etc pts all on the same unit... 30 beds and census is usually full or close to it.

I'm just wondering what kind of work you expect your techs/CNAs to do. Some of the nurses I worked with in the PACU wanted me to do practically zero patient assessment or care, others were much more lenient and allowed me to do quite a bit. I know it depends on the tech/CNA... I've seen some that would be happy to just pass trays and restock and others that are more interested in working with patients... but granted you're dealing with a pretty competent, enthusiastic tech that is working towards becoming an RN.... what do you delegate or teach and what do you keep to yourself? Are there any specific tasks that you routinely delegate?

Another part of the question... do your techs/CNAs have any role in working a code?

Thanks. :)

Hoozdo, ADN

1,555 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Research, Corrections. Has 15 years experience.

There will always be something for you to do.

1. Help turn every pt Q2 hr (usually a 2 person job)

2. Usually night shift bathes all the patients. Huge undertaking for 30

patients. This is definitely a 2 person job 90% of the time.

3. Empty foleys for 30 pts at end of shift and tell the nurse how much

you emptied.

4. Make yourself available for code browns, searching for supplies, picking

up blood products from the blood bank.

5. Answer call lights for those pts (and families) that can use it.

6. Round and ask the nurses if they need help with anything in your spare


7. Accuchecks for those without A-lines.

8. Help wire up and transfer to the ICU bed any new admissions.

9. Stock things (each unit will be different on what you are responsible for)

10. Empty garbage, dispose of full linen bags for all the rooms.

Depending on the CNA scope of practice for your state, you might get to be

more involved. Be aware of your scope because you don't want to get

fired for being out of scope. In my state, you can do compressions in a code

or run for supplies......that's about it. You can't record. You can watch if

the room is not REALLY crowded.

Most units don't even have CNAs. Mine does and I am really grateful for it.

Thank you all ICU CNAs! :anpom:


10 Posts

Specializes in New in ICU; OB-GYN, PACU, Prehospital.

Thank you! That was very helpful.

PS- adorable dog. Kinda looks like mine. :)

Specializes in ER, progressive care. Has 7 years experience.

As Hoozdo mentioned, your scope of practice will vary per state and hospital. Hoozdo summed it up pretty well. I'm a nurse tech and I sometimes float to the ICU (unfortunately it's not my "home unit" - yet!) and I can tell you in the mornings they have us go around and hang, fill & prime new feeding tube lines. We also stock the blanket warmer at the start of qshift and do accuchecks q6h (9am and 3pm). We are also allowed to suction if there is a need (both with open and closed systems). Nurses will sometimes have us get blood, but usually everyone has some sort of central line so we're not allowed to get blood from those (but the steps aren't hard! i think it's harder to do a peripheral IV stick than to simple obtain blood off a central line)...everything else is what the nurses ask/need help with!

Good luck - I think you will love the ICU :yeah: