What are the Duties of a CNA Working in a Hospital?

A nurse aide who has completed a CNA training class and passed the state examination is qualified to work in a long-term care facility as well as in a hospital. Even though a large number of nurse assistants work in nursing homes, the demand for certified nurse aides in hospitals is growing. The role of a CNA working in the hospital environment is almost identical to that of a nurse aide employed in a nursing home. Nurse aides working in hospitals are responsible for basic nurse aide duties, but they may also acquire additional skills which expand the role of a CNA. These additional nurse assistant skills include blood glucose monitoring, applying heart monitors, performing colostomy care, helping with discharging patients, transferring clients to different floors, applying topical medications, and picking up blood orders.

Each hospital's policies are different which means some facilities may require the CNA to perform additional duties while others may forbid it. Sometimes the nurse aide job description specifies the skills and scope of practice required for that position, but not all job descriptions list every task you will perform while providing care. The human resources department of every hospital should be able to provide you with a full description for the certified nurse aide position in their facility. Once you obtain a CNA job in a hospital you will learn what your exact duties are and how to respect the hospital's policies.

All hospitals will provide a newly hired CNA with the extra training necessary for providing patient-care. A nurse aide who has been working in a long-term care facility and who has no knowledge of these additional skills is at no disadvantage in obtaining a nurse aide hospital position. These skills are usually easy to acquire, and with correct supervision a nurse aide masters them in a short time. The basic nurse aide duties you learned while enrolled in a CNA course are also part of a nurse assistant job when working in a hospital environment. In the hospital setting, just like in long-term care, the nurse aide role is to provide basic care to patients and assistance to nurses. A nurse aide working in a hospital must provide care to a variety of people from elderly to children, young adults and middle aged patients. CNAs working in long-term care are mainly exposed to caring for elderly patients.

Hospital CNA can be found in many different departments. Most nurse aide personnel is employed on medical-surgical floors, emergency rooms, postpartum units, and adult intensive care units. Just like in long-term care facilities, the certified nurse aide working in a hospital performs her duties under the direction and supervision of a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse. Each patient assignment a CNA receives has a plan of care which guides the nurse assistant in providing individualized services to that client. The nurse aide must closely follow the client's plan of care and document everything from vital signs to help with activities of daily living. Closely working with and reporting to the nurse in charge is also the duty of a hospital CNA.

Most hospital offer full-time CNA jobs that require forty hours of work every week, and allow rotating weekend as well as holiday schedules. Some nurse aides are looking for part-time or per diem positions only and many hospitals have those available as well. If you are looking for guaranteed hours of work then you should choose either a full-time or a part-time CNA position since these receive priority over a per-diem position. A CNA who chooses to work per diem is usually called in only when full-time or part-time nurse aide employees are not available. Most hospital CNA employed for per diem positions are required to work at least one week-end every month. Nursing homes as well as hospitals are experiencing an acute nursing and CNA shortage, which translates into plenty of overtime work. A hospital CNA may choose to work double shifts or extra days and receive overtime reimbursement.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions

Felica G. on July 16, 2014 at 02:23 PM
How long do CNA classes take and what exactly do you have to do?

Admin on July 19, 2014 at 10:51 PM
Nursing assistant training courses may take anywhere between three weeks to three months to complete, depending on the facility or school which offers the program. To enroll in nurse aide classes you must meet certain admission criteria pertaining to education, health, and background history. Those who are accepted into CNA classes must complete both the classroom and hands-on practice sessions to graduate. Finally, one must pass a final exam which tests a candidate's skills and abilities to practice correctly and safely. When you pass this final test you become a certified nurse aide.

After becoming a CNA how much more experience, training or school has to be done to become a registered nurse?

I am in the military and I do not have too much time to actually attend a regular CNA program. Who offers online CNA classes?

How do I sign up for CNA training? I am having trouble finding the shortest training program in my area. Can you help me?

How long does it take to get the CNA certificate itself while in school taking courses?

Can you share any tips or advice regarding CNA job interviews?

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Being a Successful C.N.A

Besides knowledge and proficiency there are many qualities which define a competent CNA. Our list includes the answers of residents, families, and those of experienced nurse aides who have been in the health care field for an extended period of time. Most of the qualities listed below represent the reasons and motivational factors driving new individuals to become certified nurse aides.

A competent CNA shows support for others, as well as patience, compassion and empathy. To become a good nursing assistant one needs to understand the meaning of being a team player. An effective nursing assistant learns to become a good listener who cares about and understands the needs of the residents, has a helping nature and a positive attitude. Both patients and co-workers appreciate a smile, an upbeat personality, as well as someone who takes pride in their work. A nurse aide job requires good organizational skills, patience, good judgment, and effective communication.

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