The duties of a certified nursing aide or assistant (CNA) include taking patient vital signs, setting up medical equipment, feeding and bathing patients. A CNA is directly supervised by the nursing staff and they may be employed in physician's offices, correctional institutions, hospitals and nursing homes.
A CNA is responsible for the personal care of patients. They assist patients in performing the most basic daily tasks. Individuals in a nursing home or recovering from an injury rely on their CNA to help them eat, bathe and dress. They also provide toileting assistance and catheter care. They may have to change a patients bed or turn them to prevent bed sores. Dental care and shaving are included in these personal daily tasks.
A CNA may also assist the patient in their recovery by helping them regain their mobility. This includes helping the patient walk and assisting with daily range of motion and strengthening exercises. They regularly position patients in their wheelchairs or beds during recovery.
A CNA must observe and record patient vital signs and updates. Any changes in the patient or safety of a patient must be immediately reported to the nursing staff. A CNA is often the first line of care for a recovering patient. They play a key role in keeping the patient healthy and happy and keeping nursing staff informed.