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What does a nurse assistant exactly do on there jobs?

#nurse #nursing #healthcare #hospital-and-health-care

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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi Shelby,

Nursing Assistants provide basic direct (face-to-face, hands-on) patient care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, private homes, rehabilitation centers, Adult Family Homes (AFH), Behavioral Health Centers, and Acute Care Centers (Hospitals).

Nursing Assistant (NAC or CNA) Programs are offered at many high schools as elective courses, at community colleges, by long-term care facilities (who will often pay tuition) and through small businesses. The advantages of becoming a Nursing Assistant are many- it is a quick first step into Nursing, provides the opportunity for job experience in patient care and looks great on a Nursing program application- in fact, many Nursing programs are giving admission preference or requiring applicants to have attended a Nursing Assistant Program.

It's also a great way to see if Nursing is for you, or if you prefer to pursue a different area of healthcare.

Best of luck to you!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Shelby,

Unveiling the Role of a Nurse Assistant:

A nurse assistant, also referred to as a nursing assistant or a certified nursing assistant (CNA), is a critical cog in the healthcare machinery. They offer direct patient care, operating under the guidance of registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs). The duties of a nurse assistant can differ based on their work environment, such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or home healthcare. Here are some typical tasks that nurse assistants usually carry out:

1. Patient Care:

They aid patients with daily life activities (ADLs) like bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting.
They assist patients with mobility, helping them move from beds to wheelchairs or aiding them in walking.
They feed patients who are incapable of feeding themselves.
They monitor and record vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, and respiration.

2. Support for Medical Procedures:

They support healthcare providers during medical procedures like wound care, catheterization, and physical examinations.
They set up medical equipment and ensure its proper functioning.
They collect specimens for lab testing.

3. Communication and Documentation:

They communicate effectively with patients to provide emotional support and ensure their comfort.
They report any changes in a patient’s condition to the nursing staff.
They accurately document patient information in medical records.

4. Environmental Tasks:

They maintain cleanliness and organization in patient rooms.
They change bed linens and ensure a safe environment for patients.
They stock supplies and manage inventory levels.

5. Collaborating with Healthcare Team:

They work in tandem with nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care to patients.
They participate in care planning meetings to discuss patient needs and progress.

In a nutshell, nurse assistants are instrumental in supporting patients’ physical and emotional well-being. They work hand in hand with the healthcare team to deliver top-notch care.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used in Answering this Question:

American Red Cross: The American Red Cross provides nurse assistant training programs and resources that detail the duties and responsibilities of nurse assistants in healthcare settings.
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN): NCSBN offers guidelines and standards for nurse assistant practice, serving as credible sources for understanding the work scope of nurse assistants.
Occupational Outlook Handbook by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: This resource offers in-depth information on the job duties of nurse assistants, including their roles in various healthcare settings and the projected job outlook for this profession.

May God Bless You!
James Constantine Frangos.
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Hwal’s Answer


From my own experience working at a CNA before starting PA school, my responsibilities included helping patients or residents with eating, toileting, bathing and other hygiene such as shaving, checking vital signs and blood glucose, and basic documentation on what I did during shifts. There may well be variations in your responsibilities depending your level of experience, type of work setting, etc., and you still certainly be given a list of responsibilities as part of interview or orientation/training process. I hope this helps.

Good luck!


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Herbert N.’s Answer

Very much depends upon the type of institution you would be considering. A long-term acute care facility, a nursing home, and acute care hospital. All have different expectations of their CNAs. Different facilities within the same geographic location have different expectations even within the same type of facility. Those need to be explored so you have an idea. I would suggest you talk to people in the community for their evaluations of their experiences both working there and with their family members being in those facilities you were getting into. Some places I have seen have their CNAs doing tasks that are outside the scope of State licensure for that certification that a person holds. people don't complain because they want the job. And then something goes wrong and you get blamed for it. Always practice within the scope of your licensure and education. Most states have a Good Samaritan law that you cannot be held liable for actions you take within the practice of your education. But I have seen facilities that have the CNAs passing medications which in my five decades of nursing I consider to be totally inappropriate. those people don't have the recognition of what those medicines are, what they can do or what happens if you give the wrong medicine to the wrong patient.

Herbert N. recommends the following next steps:

Go to the library and look at current literature pertinent to the field that you're looking to get into. A librarian should be able to help you nail that down.
If you have facilities you are considering talk to the recruiters there for human resources.
Read your state licensure standards for CNAs
Look at the curriculums for various CNA programs to see that they include all of the requirements for the state licensure.
Thank you comment icon This is a great answer. I'd add, look at nursing journals in hospital libraries too. In a nursing home, CNA's help the patients with their ADL's (activities of daily living) like washing/showering, eating, going to physical therapy, dressing themselves, doing fun group activities, using the toilet, turning over in bed, helping the RN with treatments & tests, taking vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, breathing rate). It's pretty much the same for patients needing help at home and in the hospital, while each place has its own routines & ways to be organized. Shannon Kelley