Among the everyday jobs that is accomplished by certified nursing assistants (CNAs) is to perform vital signs assessment. These are typically performed not just once but a number of times all through the day, as per the order of the physician. Taking vital signs by CNAs include determining the temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate, and an assessment of the pain level of the patient if applicable. All these tasks are learned by students going through the CNA training program for nursing assistant jobs. The CNA profession inclusive of the tasks which accompany the job should not be taken lightly since accurate results for certain assessments are vital in determining the health status of a patient. An increased temperature or high blood pressure level found on a patient may indicate either just a minor or an emergent situation. Aside from other health care professionals like registered nurses among the hospital staff, sometimes nursing assistants have to complete certain tasks like vital sign assessments. Hence, they also have to be observant and if they are accomplishing an excellent job they can easily notice the changes in the vital signs assessments of certain patients. These outcomes have to be reported immediately to address the situation as early as possible.
Nursing assistant jobs not within the confines of a conventional institution may extend more autonomy for CNAs. However, the scope of these tasks necessitates more responsibility. This is the reason behind certain facilities such as nursing homes or home care facilities inquiring for further evaluations for their employed certified nursing assistants. CNAs are expected as well to have already taken CPR training or certification. They also should learn to know the ways and means and the moment to call for a 'code blue'. Nursing assistants like other healthcare professionals are important members of the healthcare facility attending to the health needs of patients.
A CNA is allowed to administer basic nursing tasks under the guidance of either a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse. They may be employed within any healthcare facility like hospitals, nursing homes, hospice care facilities, community centres, schools, and other health facilities. The duration of work period of a CNA is more or less 7.5 hours. This includes an hour break which can be modified and split into a thirty-minute break and two fifteen-minute breaks. CNAs are also allowed to work in double shifts in different settings because their services are in demand. Although, because of their inadequate training, not all the powers and responsibilities tasked to a registered nurse may also be performed by nursing assistants. The regular tasks of a CNA depending on the work setting may take account of activities like observation of patients or residents; documentation and reporting to the head nurse about matters of health; attending to the personal hygiene and grooming needs of dependent patients; bathroom or toileting needs; care of catheter bags; vital signs monitoring; preparation of meals and documenting intake of solids and liquids in the diet; food and nutrition or supplemental needs; bed making asks; tasks of turning comatose or bedridden patients ; cleanliness maintenance of the area; and transport of patients when needed.