Free CNA TrainingOnce you are a certified nurse aide, you will have numerous options for employment, and although most CNAs discover positions in nursing homes caring for senior citizens, there is also a high demand for trained professionals within the hospital setting. Your significant role in providing compassionate care for patients will not change, nor will many of the functions you perform. However, you will discover that there is often a dramatic difference between the two working environments.
CNA Functions in Hospitals
Because hospitals feature a variety of departments, there are CNA positions within the emergency room, intensive care, progressive, care, and other areas of the institution that handle less severe patient cases. You will still work under the direction of an LPN or RN and will provide patient care based upon their individual care plan. Each patient’s care plan will provide you with all of the info you need to know to do your job including:
• Date and reason for admission
• Vital sign schedule and readings
• Patient-specific notes for care and feeding requirements
• Details of their condition and treatment plan
• Medications they are taking
• List of doctors and nurses overseeing patient status
After handling each patient and again at the end of the day, your patient notes will be turned in to a nurse, and these are often used to help determine the future course of the patient’s treatment to help them recover and return home quickly. You’re an integral part of the team! Many CNA’s enjoy working in hospitals because they have the chance to work in a number of departments, thus, keeping the job fresh and exciting. Additionally, if you are planning to explore pursuing and LPN or RN title in the future, this experience is invaluable because you get to explore the many facets of hospital care.
Expectations for each Hospital Shift
At the beginning of each shift, you’ll be informed of the room numbers that you will be handling for the day, and you will go on rounds with the CNA that you are relieving. This allows you the chance to get a heads up concerning the patient’s condition and help you be prepared for your tasks ahead. After meeting with the nurse in charge and receiving the medical reports for each patient you are assigned, your shift officially begins.
The level of care you give will depend on the department you work within. Emergency room CNAs will primarily deal with accumulating intake information, taking vitals, answering patient call for assistance, and help them use the bathroom facilities. As patients are discharged or moved to a room, you may also be responsible for sterilizing the room and restocking any supplies that were used. Working in the main care wing with stabilized patients is a bit different. You’ll be handling those duties, in addition to many of the other aspects of the work that you learned in your free CNA training and certification classes such as feeding, grooming, and so forth. However, how much help each patient actually needs will vary depending upon his or her physical condition. You may actually only need to set up the hygiene items they need, or you might need to perform the entire routine for them. At the end of each shift, you will complete your paperwork, take the incoming replacement on rounds with you, and then checkout with the charge nurse before clocking out.
Time Frames, Workload, and Pay
Hospital CNA often enjoy very stable, set hours each week, while those in nursing homes or working as home health aides may experience a varied schedule. The extensive staff at a hospital can often cover for employees when they need to miss a shift unexpectedly, but smaller facilities may not have the staff capacity to do so. This means that your hours and shifts could change suddenly when a coworker cannot fulfill their duties.
As a hospital employee, you have the opportunity to work full time and may be offered rotating weekend and holiday schedules. Because of the nationwide shortage of CNAs, overtime is very possible within the hospital setting, as they tend to have the budget to cover the additional pay. In addition to these benefits, a hospital CNA salary tends to be higher than jobs within senior care facilities, and there may even be opportunities for bonuses.
As you can see, working in a hospital setting is the perfect choice you if you’re seeking stable hours that allow you to concentrate on school, tend to your family, or whatever else your life entails. It’s also ideal for those who don’t mind having a different set of patients each day. Hospital turnaround is rather quick these days, so you will not have the chance to forge personal bonds with patients as those who work in care facilities or in residential settings. If these benefits sound good, and the drawbacks seem inconsequential, then becoming a hospital CNA may be the answer for you.