Four Reasons CNAs Are Crucial to the Healthcare Industry

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are an essential pillar of our healthcare system. While nurses and doctors receive much of the recognition, the smooth functioning of hospitals and long-term care facilities relies heavily on a dedicated team of CNAs. 

So, why are CNAs such vital assets to our healthcare system? A recent article from Nursa highlights four pivotal reasons for their significance. 

They Provide Crucial Care to Patients

CNAs are often the primary caretakers responsible for providing hands-on care, sometimes even exceeding nurses when it comes to face time with patients.‍

In healthcare settings such as hospitals or long-term care facilities, CNAs are entrusted with a range of essential responsibilities, including:

  • Drawing blood
  • Collecting urine or fecal samples 
  • Cleaning, bathing, or changing the patient
  • Grooming patients, including helping with teeth brushing and hair combing 
  • Helping the patient use the bathroom 
  • Turning or moving patients
  • Checking routine vital signs, like heart rate and blood pressure
  • Answering patient calls
  • Collecting medical supplies
  • Changing the patient’s bedsheets 
  • Helping patients eat 

This dimension of care is essential for patients in need, as it not only ensures they receive necessary assistance but also allows them to maintain their dignity. Instead of relying on an overwhelmed nurse who may struggle to find time amidst urgent cases or a reluctant family member to assist them, patients can trust the expertise and support of a trained and experienced CNA. 

They Act as Valued Companions for Patients and Families

CNAs often find themselves with more available time to engage in meaningful conversations with patients and their families, while nurses must swiftly move on to the next patient. This allows CNAs to dedicate extra time to interacting with patients and their loved ones, ensuring that they feel genuinely cared for and never overlooked.

In addition to providing companionship, CNAs also establish strong connections with patients and their families, which can prove immensely valuable. Patients who have confidence in their healthcare providers are more inclined to follow medical instructions and experience greater satisfaction with their overall care.

Furthermore, due to the trust patients have in their CNAs, they may inadvertently reveal information that they had previously withheld. Research has shown that as many as 60-80% of patients surveyed admitted to not disclosing relevant health information to their doctors. Therefore, it is crucial to remain vigilant and attentive in order to gather any additional information that can assist the healthcare team in providing the best possible treatment for each patient.

The connections and bonds formed by CNAs with their patients can greatly influence how patients perceive the quality of care they receive, and even impact the treatment decisions made by doctors.

They Provide Essential Support for Nurses

Nurses, as we all know, have an incredibly demanding role. They are entrusted with administering medications, closely monitoring patients, and meticulously documenting patient symptoms. In certain situations, they may even assist in life-saving emergency procedures.

Given the demanding and critical responsibilities that nurses have, it is crucial for them to receive all the assistance they can. This is where CNAs come in, stepping up to provide valuable support to nurses who are already overwhelmed with their workload.

They Can Advocate for Patients When Necessary

In certain healthcare settings, CNAs often have the privilege of spending more time with patients than any other member of the healthcare team. They take on the crucial responsibility of monitoring the patient’s condition in between visits from nurses or primary healthcare providers.

For this reason, CNAs are often able to observe patient symptoms, concerns, or behaviors that may have gone unnoticed by the rest of the healthcare team. This enables them to advocate for the patient and alert other members of the healthcare team when necessary. Patients and their families find great comfort in knowing that someone is always there, looking out for their well-being.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, the importance of CNAs lies in their crucial role in patient care. With healthcare organizations constantly striving for the highest level of care, CNAs play a vital part in ensuring that patients receive the attention and support they need. Their significance extends not only to the patients themselves but also to the overall functioning of the healthcare system.