What Does a Certified Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA) do in a Nursing Home?
Residents living at a nursing home have a variety of needs. They require the right personnel with the proper training to deliver the highest quality care. A nursing home employs a wide range of professionals that complete a myriad of different tasks each and every day. Doctors, nurses, and certified geriatric nursing assistants are on hand each and every day to insure that each resident whether short term or long term (incomplete).
The Certified Geriatric Nursing Assistant’s Role at the Nursing Home
Though nurses and doctors are often seen as the highest up employees in this hierarchy, without a team of dedicated geriatric certified nursing assistants, patients would not get the one-on-one care they need to recover. Certified geriatric Nursing’s Assistants, or GNAs for short, complete a long list of varied tasks that differ from resident to resident. For the most part, a great deal of the time that a GNA spends with a patient is going to be attending to daily tasks that the resident cannot perform for themselves. General tasks include:
One great example of this is bathing and oral hygiene. The GNA might help the resident bathe either in the shower or in the bed depending on their physical limitations, which helps to both raise spirits and keep residents healthy.
GNAs might also help brush teeth, brush hair, dress the residents and more to help keep them clean and happy. A GNA might also be called on to help feed a resident if they are not able to feed themselves. This is a vital role that helps insure patients get the nutrients they need and that they still feel that they are cared for.
On top of hygiene, GNAs may also be called on to help residents use the toilet and to clean up afterwards. This is a vital role as well as some nursing home residents do not have the strength that it takes to get up and go to the toilet on their own. GNAs are also vital when it comes to things like cleaning beds and changing sheets to again make sure that the resident is comfortable and clean at all times. GNAs will not be required to administer medication as it is the duty of the nurse to do so but a GNA may also help the nurse watch for possible side effects of medications to help keep residents healthy.
Overall a GNA is going to be called on to help residents with the daily tasks that they can no longer do on their own. In a nursing home where there is a large staff, GNAs may also be asked to sit with residents to keep them company or to monitor them for any changes in their health. It is crucial that GNAs be kind, compassionate, and patient as those that are living in nursing homes can generally do very little for themselves and helping someone with every task may become trivial or at times become trying.
GNAs are the backbone that helps keep nursing homes running smoothly and that helps residents remain healthy and happy despite the odds.