When you look at the certified nursing assistant career objectives, you’ll likely see a strong theme. Unlike registered nurses and other nursing professionals, a certified nursing assistant is primarily responsible for tending to patients. Its this requirement that attracts so many to this unique and demanding field. These professionals are given a unique opportunity to interact with patients on a more personal and intimate level.
Because of this, its no surprise the primary responsibility of a certified nursing assistant involves assessing the current state of a patient. In fact, this job duty is so important its actually part of the official nursing process all nurses are trained in.
What is Patient Assessment
In the most fundamental sense, patient assessment is the act of continually utilizing your observational skills in order to determine the current state of a patient. More times than not, the patients personal observations of their illness or bodily sensations are the only source of medical history a nurse is given. Because of this, the entire healthcare team heavily relies on the observations of certified nursing assistants.
When you assess a patient, the data you create should be completely free from personal opinions; this is the heart of objectiveness. Its essential that you, as a CNA, remain as non-judgmental as possible. In order to obtain an accurate assessment, you should strive to support: obtaining medical history from the patient, assisting nurses with a physical examination of the patient as well as reviewing all relevant medical information. While a certified nursing assistant isn’t responsible for undertaking these specific duties, it is your responsibility to support other nurses during this important process.
One of the most unique elements when it comes to a certified nursing assistant is the amount of time you’ll spend with a patient. Unlike other medical professionals, which tend to very specific activities within a patient, a CNA is actively involved within the daily activities of patients. Because of this, your given a unique opportunity to observe the baseline experiences of a patient.
In many instances, a certified nursing assistant is the first one who notices a change within a patient in either for the positive or negative. Because of your unique involvement within the daily lives of patients, a CNA must possess excellent communication and reporting skills. Its your responsibility to document these changes and immediately notify your supervisor should the patient begin experiencing serious side effects or even minor alterations to their comfort level or mental stability.