CNA Job Duties: Preparing Patients for Surgery

Certified Nurse Assistants have a lot of job responsibilities, and this certainly includes nursing assistants that work at a healthcare facility that performs surgeries. CNAs are busy doing a lot of different job duties during their shifts, and many have to keep track of patients and patient records while also performing other job duties we have previously discussed. CNAs though are often the first line of communication between doctors and nurses, giving valuable information about a patient’s location and up to date condition, especially when it comes to surgery. CNAs are essentially the eyes and ears of the office.

To be a great CNA, you have to be able to multitask. When nursing assistants have this essential skill on the job, it helps provide nurses and doctors with the resources they need when an atmosphere is tumultuous. While nursing homes usually have a less intense pace and require mostly routine job duties of a CNA, medical and surgical nurses will more frequently see more complex conditions and have to help prepare patients for surgery. In this article, we’ll cover some of the situations that CNAs will see when assisting doctors and nurses with prepping patients for surgery and also some of the job duties post-surgery.

Why do Nursing Assistants prepare patients for surgery?

Surgical teams want to ensure that patients are happy and healthy for the duration of their stay.. Because surgery is such a detailed and serious endeavor, patients require both pre-operative and post-operative care. Patients who are prepped for surgery have to understand relevant information about their surgeries, while doctors and nurses have to know about allergies and other patient information within their files.

After surgery, CNA’s are responsible for monitoring shock, infection, and patient wounds as well as implementing surgical drains and monitoring all post-surgery concerns with nurses, providing essential surgical care procedures.

Who else helps nursing assistants prep patients for surgery?

Nursing staff is also responsible for prepping patients for surgery. In many situations, therapists, nurses, and supporting physicians also provide essential post-surgery examination and follow-up support.

How do nursing assistants prepare patients for surgery?

Nursing assistants have a very broad job description, but there are several specific duties that CNAs have to do to prepare patients for surgery.

Certified nurse assistants have to be able to provide the following services:

-Vital signs need to be taken and monitored regularly. These duties include taking a patient’s temperature, monitoring their blood pressure, and noting their heart rate and respiratory rate. If any of these figures changes, nursing staff should be informed immediately.

-Nurses have to be able to monitor pain and help patients feel better after surgery. CNAs let patients know that staff is ready and available to take care of the problem. Then, CNAs deliver information regarding the level of pain that a patient feels to help administer medicine. CNAs have to be compassionate and supportive to help patients feel comfortable.

-Moving the patient as soon as possible following surgery to help with circulation. In cooperation with nursing staff, CNAs are responsible for moving patients in bed every two hours to prevent bed sores, discomfort, and blood clots. This can also include walking, leg exercises, and compression stockings to improve movement.

-Patients need intravenous fluids after surgery, and it’s the responsibilities of CNAs to make sure that they aren’t retaining these fluids. CNA’s do this by emptying urine containers and documenting output during their shifts. When intravenous fluids are involved, CNAs have to monitor the bags.

-CNAs monitor dehydration as well, keeping track of skin elasticity, mucous membranes, thirst, and small amounts of urine. CNAs can suggest sips of water and additional treatment.

-Nurse assistants are also responsible for helping patients with daily activities like brushing teeth, combing hair, and dressing.

What are some difficulties of preparing patients for surgery?

Patients can vary greatly between surgery conditions, and their vitals can vary greatly. In emergency situations, nursing procedures have to take place very quickly. CNAs have to think quickly and react immediately in critical situations.

What kind of skills should a CNA have to be successful at prepping patients for surgery?

Certified Nurse Assistants have to be highly flexible:

-Excellent communication skills, and able to understand non-verbal communication

-Thoroughness in nursing procedures

-Ethical and legal morals. CNAs practice ethics in everything they do.

-Good “hands on skills.” Nursing assistants have to do their job quickly and correctly, no matter the circumstance.

Everything considered, certified nursing assistants have to be highly trained and disciplined individuals. They have to act on a moment’s notice if something goes wrong, and be highly trained to perform all of their care responsibilities. Without a doubt, CNAs are an essential part of effective patient care.