CNA Careers in the Home Health Care Setting
The role of the CNA in the home health care setting can be slightly different than the CNA (certified nursing assistant) in the acute care setting. The difference is not only in some of the tasks, but in the acuity and number of patients for which the CNA cares.
The certified nursing assistant most often works the day shift in the home health care setting. The shift can be 2, 4, or 6 hours. The shift most often is not a full eight hours for the nursing assistant because if the patient needs such a large amount of care, a nurse is usually required.
Typical Responsibilities of a Home Health CNA
The CNA may visit the patient for two to four hours per stay, two or three days a week, and she or he may see two or three patients in one day. The duties can be varied for a home setting CNA job, but most often include the following:
* Giving the bath on every visit
* May change the patients linens once or twice a week
* May be asked to do the patients laundry
* May be asked to assist with meal preparation on the days he or she visits
* May be asked to do hair, nails, or diaper area care for adults
* May assist with tidying rooms, reading, helping with letters or mail, and any other small activity of daily living chore the patient cannot complete independently
* On occasion, when the payer reimburses for eight hours, the CNA acts as a companion for the patient while the family is at work.
* The CNA is not responsible for vital signs. If a patient is not stable and would require vital sign monitoring, a nurse would be visiting as well.
The certified nursing assistant that sees two or three patients a day may complete the same responsibilities for all three patients. The family knows that their loved one will get a bath, fresh linens, and a hair wash at least two or three times a week. This is a relief for the family members that must work, as well as be the caregivers, for a relative who may have experienced a stroke or has a debilitating disease process. It also allows the family member to leave the home for the few hours an assistant is visiting to run errands or pick up medicines.
Benefits of a Home Care CNA Job
The home health experience in a CNA job allows for a more flexible schedule and a less stressful environment. It allows the bond between assistant and patient to become more like family, yet the CNA must remember to keep an essence of professionalism, regardless of how close the relationship becomes.
Quality care for a loved one is a blessing to the family, and a career in home health care for a certified nursing assistant can be very satisfying. The pay rate for home health care may tend to be slightly lower than that of the acute care setting, but the working conditions and environment, along with the flexibility, may be worthwhile to someone looking for those perks. Home health care should always be kept as an option for a CNA looking to develop meaningful client relationships, while still enjoying flexibility in scheduling.
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