I have been a CNA for going on 10 years now, and have worked all three shifts. I will NEVER be caught saying that any one shift is any harder or easier than any other- they all have their difficulties.
AM shift has the most activity going on. Difficult family members, activities, lunch, showers, naps, and more... To make up for all these duties (and then some!), AM shift generally has fewer residents than the other shifts.
PM shift is a little quieter, doing vitals, getting people up for dinner, still dealing with family (though less than AM shift has to, by far), giving showers, and so on. With only one meal, there are fewer time restrictions, and that is usually balanced by mgmt. by giving PMs more patients than AMs.
Night shift is supposedly the quietest shift. SUPPOSED TO BE. It seems they "balanced it out" by giving us more residents, without realizing what really happens on Nocs. Sundowners patients act completely different at night time, causing erratic behavior no other shift may see, including violence, confusion, and increased risk of falls. Parkinsons patients frequently have issues at night- a former patient of mine who had Parkinsons would use the toilet 2-3 times a day, but at night, she could go 30+ times! There are worriers who ring every five minutes just to ensure that someone is there, and often the heavies get-ups are night shifts because there is NO WAY to get all the heavies & combatives up in the short time before breakfast on AMs.
I often have to clock out and continue working at the end of the shift in order to finish the job, or risk getting in trouble for not finishing. Again, I've been doing this for 10 years, and am by no means a slow CNA. It really irks me to hear ANY shift complaining about another! We all work damn hard, and it doesn't make it any better getting flak from the people who are supposed to be our "teammates"!
Technical Standards for CCBC's Certified Nursing Assistant/Geriatric Nursing Assistant Training Series
The primary goal of The Community College of Baltimore County's Nursing Assistant/Geriatric Nursing Assistant Training is to adequately prepare students for a position as a nursing assistant/geriatric nursing assistant at the bedside under the direct supervision of a registered nurse in an acute care hospital or in a physician's office, urgent care center, ambulatory care facility, long-term care center and other health care facilities.
Nursing assistants/geriatric nursing assistants are required to be on their feet for long periods of time, caring for patients at the bedside, transferring and/or positioning patients. They need to exercise safe practices while exposed to unpleasant sights, odors, materials and communicable diseases. Their duties also require them to function quickly with accuracy while being detail-oriented. A high level of manual dexterity, psychomotor skills, and personal integrity are vital.
Following is a partial listing of the types of skills usually required for adequate job performance:
- Sufficient strength and mobility to:
- Work and/or stand for up to 12 hours
- Lift at least 50 pounds or more and position patients
- Move swiftly within close quarters while maintaining sterile field
- Perform tasks requiring good hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills
- Adequate vision to:
- Read patient ID bracelets for correct administration of care
- Read instruction sheets and computer screens
- Read medical measuring equipment, scale, thermometer, graduated cylinder, sphygmomanometer, patient files
- Sufficient hearing to:
- Hear and understand verbal instructions
- Properly use stethoscope
- Interact appropriately with professionals
Interpersonal Skills and Professionalism:
- Have the ability to:
- Work in a professional manner as part of a team
- Interact in a professional manner with many personalities and attitudes and with people from many different backgrounds
- Respect patient confidentiality and rights
- Interact with other health professionals in a polite and professional manner
- Sufficient communication skills to:
- Give and receive accurate written and verbal instructions
- Carry out all written and verbal instructions
- Follow proper channels of communication
- Communicate in a calm and professional manner
- Interpret patient needs accurately
- Provide patient/public education related to the nursing assistant/geriatric nursing assistant profession
Intellectual Ability and Emotional Stability To:
- Exercise independent judgment within the practice to properly care for patients
- Accurately identify and carry out tasks delegated by registered nurses
- Work calmly and efficiently in stressful situations
- Maintain calmness during an emergency situation
- Complete program requirements
- Wearing gowns, caps, masks, gloves, and eye protection
- Working in an environment that may be noisy at times
- Working in an environment that exposes one to potentially hazardous materials including cleaning agents and chemicals, body fluids
- Working in an environment with unpleasant odors
- Provide proof of recent immunizations against infectious diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and tetanus
- Receive Hepatitis B vaccinations and or sign a waiver