I first wanted to be a Certified Nursing Assist (CNA) at the age 16. I had to do community service for Graffiti. I was given a job as an activity assistant at a nursing home. I enjoyed it so much! The people there are so much fun to work with. The best part about it was being able to help them read the paper, play bingo, or whatever they wanted to do. Once a lady and her sister were pushing chairs down the hallway and I asked “what are you doing?” They told me they were taking a train ride to see their father for his birthday.
It made me feel sad because I had to explain to them that they were going the wrong way, so I helped them back to their room. Once there, I explained to them that they lived here at the nursing home and were not going anywhere. It was at that moment, I wanted to really be in the nursing field to be able to make a positive impression on someone else’s life. I have found that being passionate and having empathy are some important traits to have as a CNA you it help you understand better as to why they might feel some different emotions in the new environment. Since residents have many nurses taking care of them it can make them feel anxious, sad, or depressed. Being responsible by using your gait belt can ensure safety or resident and yourself. A typical day for a CNA would start at 6 am. We would report to the charge nurse and get a report.
Then, about 6:15, one would prepare a linen cart for their hall. Between 6:30-8, we start getting residents up and showered and bathed. We answer call lights between residents when we have time, as we’re taking residents to and from breakfast. As residents are coming back from breakfast, we are laying some down or changing them. CNA’s take a 15 min break around 9:15. After our break, we come back and answer call lights, take residents to therapy or activities, and do vitals or weigh the resident for the day. We continue to toilet people and give showers to those that did not get showered before breakfast. By 10:30 most CNA’s take a 30 min lunch.
We come back at 11 to get people up that are in bed and change those who need to be changed; by noon all resident should be at lunch. At 12:30 the residents should be coming back from lunch. We would toilet those that want to stay up and take them to afternoon activities. And lay down ones that need to be laid down then answer call lights. CNA’s take their last 15 min break around 1:15 When we come back at 1:30 everyone should be taken care of.
Then, we check our rooms to ensure safety and make sure everyone has been changed and toileted. At 2pm, we should be finishing up and giving reports to the next CNA and charting for the day. By 2:30 you should be ready to go home. In 2011, I worked at a nursing home. I cared for individuals who had Alzheimer, who had injuries that required Occupational Therapy, who permanently resided there. When we first get to work, we would report to the Registered Nurse (R.N) and then get our supplies ready for our shift. Afterwards, we would prepare clothes and help one get dressed for the day.
After one was dressed and beds were made, we would go to the cafeteria and have breakfast. There would be individuals who needed assistance eating and drinking so we would find someone who needed help. Once breakfast was done, we would help everyone get back to their rooms and assist with restroom breaks, change and get them relaxed, or take them to the next activity. I would get my 10-12 residents vitals and report it to the R.N. on my hall. At 11:30, it’s lunch time, so we get everyone to the cafeteria and assist as needed. Between the 8 hour shifts, we give showers to the residents. We sometimes use a Hoyer lift and always wear our gait belt to help us lift the resident to ensure safety. It is very cumbersome to work as a CNA. The people are so sweet and we have the best of times! After lunch, we continue activities and showers. After the CNA’s take a break, we come back, and check our residents and change them. At the end of the day we clean our area and report back to the R.N.
There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages to being a CNA. First, being patient with the resident is important because they are delicate. Since most of the residents are older in age, they cannot move as fast and their skin gets thinner with age and disease. Making sure you have ample time with each resident is a MUST! If you don’t make time then you could hurt someone or yourself. Another advantage to being a CNA is the pay, normally one is paid at least $10 an hour or more if you are part time nurse (PRN) or as needed you could get paid as much as 1 5-20 and hr. Stability is important because you really get to know your job and you’ll be the best to your ability. Working in the nursing field you have lots of job opportunities to meet and get to know people. Most places offer benefits for you and your family. Such as health, dental, and other benefits as well. Some disadvantages to working as a CNA, are standing on your feet for long periods of time and lifting people all day.
It can cause you to have back aches and swollen ankles. Dealing with death is another disadvantage because you really get to know your residents and it is like having a close friend die. It can take a toll on one. Family can be difficult as well. Being that some family members have taken care of their loved one, they have a schedule and like it to be kept but when the environment changes things seem to change. One last disadvantage I’d like to add, is nursing homes and hospitals are always understaffed which means a lot of overtime and pressure on one person so try your best to stay focused and not to take it out on your residents.
Given that I have extensive experience in the medical field, I have found that you can make an awesome CNA if you listen to your charge nurse and follow all policies and regulations that are in your scope of nurse assist practice. If you are not sure of something, ask your Director of nursing (DON). The residents look to CNA’s as Angels of Mercy, so try your absolute best to always put them first. Have respect and show consideration of their belongings.You would not want someone coming to your house and going through your belongings or mistreating you.