A Day in the Life of a CNA

CNA with Resident

Being a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at an ASC senior living community is more than just a job. You’ll play an essential role in your patients’ or residents’ care and well-being. CNAs and their residents/patients often develop meaningful bonds that make this career choice a very fulfilling one.

Good CNAs are empathetic, energetic and detail-oriented. They demonstrate compassion and understanding. A few of the duties this group of professional caregivers handle include:

  • Assisting patients with showering and bathing
  • Lending residents a hand with grooming and dressing
  • Monitoring patients for any changes or concerns
  • Changing linens and making beds
  • Assisting residents to the dining room or to planned activities, if needed
  • Answering patient calls and requests for assistance
  • Aiding in a resident’s transfer to and from chairs or the toilet

So, what does a typical day in the life of a certified nursing assistant look like? This general overview will give you a basic idea of what a CNA should expect when they work in a senior living community.

How a Typical CNA Spends Their Day

Certified nursing assistants are a vital part of the round-the-clock caregiving team at a senior living community. You might work days, afternoons or overnight shifts. While most communities try to keep caregiver assignments fairly consistent, there may be changes based on team members’ availability (i.e., vacations and days off).

Whatever shift you choose to work, you’ll receive a list of your assigned patients/residents for the day at the start of your shift. Team members on the preceding shift will also update you on the status of each patient or resident. This includes any changes or concerns to be aware of, as well as any planned appointments or outings a resident has coming up that day.

Because ASC utilizes a person-centered approach to care, every member of the team places the needs of each resident/patient at the top of their priority list. That means everyone pitches in to help each resident. Throughout their shift, a CNA will work through their scheduled tasks while keeping a watchful eye out for resident needs.

CNAs are always looking for ways to keep residents engaged and connected with life. It might be by encouraging them to participate in scheduled activities or to just join a friend for a cup of coffee in the lobby.

Caregivers also work hard to protect and maintain each resident’s dignity. When a resident needs help using the bathroom, eating at mealtime, or tending to personal care, a CNA assists them in a respectful manner. By keeping a professional attitude and building a personal relationship with the resident, a CNA can reduce embarrassment and stress, allowing everyone to feel more comfortable.

By the end of the shift, a CNA will usually have notes about the care provided to each resident/patient. They will include details about any incidents that occurred, as well as each person’s mental, emotional and physical health and well-being. They will share this information at shift change with the next CNA who is coming on. That helps ensure residents/patients receive the best possible care.

The First Step on a New Career Path

As a CNA, every workday will likely be a little different. It’s a career that will have joys and rewards, as well as challenges. At ASC, it can be the first step on a journey that ends with becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN). Our competitive wages and tuition assistance program help make those dreams a reality for many.

Visit our Careers page to learn more about our organization and the benefits we offer, and to review a list of current job openings!

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