As a Certified Nursing Assistant, you’re responsible for a variety of essential patient care tasks. While the overarching job functions of a CNA are surprisingly consistent throughout all specialties, it is possible to have additional or different duties based on workplace.
If you’re interested in learning more about the varied career options available when you become a Certified Nursing Assistant, then it’s important to research how your skills are leveraged based on employer and title.
Standard CNA Job Duties – The Basics
While specific job functions may vary, there are several universal CNA duties that apply regardless of where you work. These include:
- Checking patient vitals, weight and height
- Collecting essential information from patients
- Filling out and filing essential paperwork and forms
- Maintain pristine patient hygiene via personal care tasks
- Offer mobility assistance for patients who are unable to freely move
Nursing Home CNA Job Duties
Without a doubt, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are the most common employer for Certified Nursing Assistants. These medical facilities provide 24/7 care for residents. While the specific job functions may vary based on state and facility protocols, most nursing home CNA duties include caring for geriatric and disabled patients based upon the unique patient care plan crafted by physicians.
Caring for residents may require above-average medication monitoring and greater physical labor from moving and adjusting incapacitated patients. You must also carry a greater degree of compassion and patience. Residents who are experiencing cognitive decline require a unique approach and care level when compared to a standard, fully functioning, patient.
Hospital CNA Job Duties
Within a hospital setting, Certified Nursing Assistants are typically assigned to a specific department. Your immediate supervisor is generally Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse. While the job functions of a hospital CNA are strikingly similar to those of a nursing home CNA, there are several unique requirements.
These include having to care for a higher number of patients who are dealing with an active injury or recovery. Unlike nursing home residents, hospital patients demand spur-of-the-moment care. This fast-paced environment is surprisingly different from assisted living facilities. You’ll be required to interact with physicians and other members of the nursing staff.
Daily job tasks will vary based upon specialization. For example, your tasks will slightly vary when working in the pediatric unit than in the trauma unit.
Private Practice CNA Job Duties
Private practice employers, such as a primary care physician, feature unique job duties and requirements when compared to other workplaces. Generally, a Certified Nursing Assistant in this environment will act as a receptionist and a CNA.
This means you’ll likely be charged with the task of interacting with patients as they enter the office, collecting their information and answering questions. In this role, you’ll also be responsible for gathering vital signs and other preliminary metrics, such as weight, height and blood pressure readings.
As a private practice CNA, you’ll find yourself dealing with more office or clerical tasks than other CNA jobs. Therefore, if you come from a strong administrative background, or wish to primarily perform these types of tasks, employment in a private practice may be ideal.