Certified Nursing Assistant Job Scope
With the increasing duties and responsibilities of registered nurses, the need for skilled and reliable assistants is becoming more evident and this is where nursing assistants come into the picture. The certified nursing assistant job scope includes providing basic nursing procedures such as attending to patient needs, changing dressings, preparing patients for medical procedures, taking temperature and blood pressure, and transporting patients via wheelchair or wheeled cart. Since registered nurses cannot always afford to spend significant amounts of time for each individual patient, it is up to the nursing assistant to perform patient monitoring, and report results back to registered nurse.
Although certified nursing assistants commonly work in hospitals, they may also be employed in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, long-term care facilities, geriatric facilities and other forms of medical facilities. It is very important that the nursing assistant not only posses basic nursing skills, but also be able to make quick assessments on a patient’s condition so the findings can quickly be reported back to the registered nurse. Like any other member of the medical team, nursing assistants must have the ability to remain calm and collected during emergency procedures and in stressful situations as well.
It is also mandatory for nursing assistants to practice proper hand washing over the course of performing their duties and responsibilities, especially when attending to patients, in which hand washing is done before and after contact with them. They must also practice wearing of gloves when necessary, particularly when there is a possibility of getting in close contact with bodily fluids, or when the patient is infected with a communicable disease. Nursing assistants, like other members of the health team, must always see to it that patient rights are always respected. Examples of this are the patient’s right to accept/refuse treatment, and right to privacy/dignity during nursing procedures.
Another part of a nursing assistant’s job is providing ambulation assistance – helping patients to walk or be mobile. Nursing assistants provide assistance to patients in getting them in and out of the bed or from a chair. They also assist patients in such a way that they can get some form of exercise. Helping patients get dressed or undressed is usually one of the more challenging tasks the nursing assistants face on a regular basis. Nursing assistants must also make sure that patients are also given proper oral care. This includes not only brushing patient’s teeth, but also monitoring their gums, lips, tongue, and mouth for any irregularities.
Nursing assistants must also be skilled in proper bed making as this is important to ensure that the patient is comfortable while in bed and prevent bedsores as well. Checking for vital signs (e.g. blood pressure, pulse, and temperature) is also an important part of a nursing assistant’s daily routine, and these are recorded on a regular basis depending on the doctor’s specifications. Any irregularities in vital signs must immediately be reported back to the attending doctor or nurse. These skills are just among the many duties and responsibilities that make up the certified nursing assistant job scope.