What to Expect When Working As a CNA in a Hospital Setting
Working in a hospital may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you're a new
CNA. Hospital CNA jobs can be hard to come by though. This article will inform you on what to expect in the
hospital setting, from basic duties to meals, so you won't be overwhelmed as you begin your journey.
The typical shift as a CNA begins with rounds. A round may consist of taking
patient vitals, recording intake and output levels (which means fluid that the patient has ingested or excreted)
refilling water and ice trays, reporting back to the LVN (licensed vocational nurse) with vitals, stocking the
contact precaution equipment, (such as PE gowns, gloves, masks and sterile wipes) charting all of your findings on
a computer, while assessing each patient under your care. Charting patients can consist of recording patient
behavior, position in bed, diet, fluid and calorie intake/output and vitals.
Charting provides a reference for each shift member, so they can accurately report
to the next CNA on duty. This gives each CNA an idea of what to expect for each patient. Charting can take up to a
few hours, so it's usually broken up throughout the rounds, typically every two hours. More rounds usually take
place throughout each shift, that consist of re-checking on each patient. This can mean asking if they need
anything, helping them to the bathroom, shower, brushing their teeth and any other activities that support their
Working as a CNA in a hospital has many mandatory requirements, such as clocking
in and out, refreshing your knowledge regularly by taking mandatory computer exams and taking classes that are
provided by the hospital, which can be anything from CPR to standard aseptic techniques.
Overnight shifts can be less hectic than day shifts, however, the downside is that
the cafeteria may be closed. In this case, you will need to bring your own food, which does give you the option of
eating healthier than you would otherwise. Overnight shifts are also good because they allow you to have the day
free to continue your education, if you're planning on becoming an LVN or RN. Day shifts are great too because
they're more consistent in keeping you on your feet, compared with overnight shifts that can have slow times.
Patients are usually awake and alert throughout the day and typically asleep and require much less care throughout
the night. There are, however, always a few patients, on every shift, that you will need to attend to more than
Working in a hospital, as a CNA, offers great opportunity to grow and learn many
aspects of the medical field. You will be exposed to many different circumstances that will truly test your
abilities, desire and commitment to being a CNA.
Hospitals are also the best place to network if you plan on continuing your career
in healthcare, by becoming a nurse. I can guarantee that you will always feel personally fulfilled as a CNA, no
matter which shift you choose, or which work setting feels right for you. Whether it's home care, hospital care,
nursing home care or somewhere else, you have a special job that will make a difference in the life of someone who