Welcome to our hospital CNA jobs article.
We’ll review different CNA hospital jobs and in the end, you’ll understand why working in a hospital is a smart career choice for a certified nursing assistant.
In particular, we will focus on:
Let’s get down to it!
A Quick Intro
A certified nursing assistant (CNA) works in different healthcare facilities offering vital nursing assistance to patients and supporting medical practitioners.
According to the bureau of labor statistics, only 6% of the over 1.4 million nursing assistants work in general medicine and surgical hospitals.
The low number of CNAs in hospitals is due to the stiff competition and low CNA turnover.
On the plus side, CNAs in hospitals generally earn more than their counterparts in other medical fields.
Additionally, medical assistants in a hospital setting gain more practical experience and have better chances of career progression.
So what career opportunities are available for hospital CNAs?
Hospital CNA jobs
CNAs are healthcare providers specializing in providing basic patient care services, including feeding, bathing, and taking patients’ vital signs.
Though not as highly educated and specialized as a registered nurse, CNA services are critical to the health system’s success.
Hospital CNAs are usually full-time employees who support the functions of other healthcare professionals and ensure that patients get comprehensive medical services.
Most states require that CNAs have a minimum of a high school diploma and further training in the basics of patient care.
Additionally, the CNA certification course, which varies in length between states, equips nursing assistants with the skills and training needed to thrive in a hospital setting,
Here are some of the lesser-known CNA hospital duties:
1. Obstetrics Technician
An obstetrics/gynecology technician is a highly trained CNA working in a hospital who offers services tailored to women’s reproductive health and delivery.
Obstetrics CNAs master the basics of women’s reproductive health, labor, delivery, and surgical technology.
The obstetrics nursing assistant CNA provides direct patient care to neonatal and postnatal women while supporting registered nurses, doctors, and midwives in the labor, recovery, delivery, and postpartum units.
The main duties and responsibilities of an obstetric technician include:
- Clerical duties include regularly updating patient records
- Preparing sterile surgical fields for surgical procedures
- Arranging surgical instruments and supplies for medical procedures
- Participate and assist surgeons during procedures
- Restocking patients’ rooms of needed supplies
- Clearing operating rooms and disposing of medical waste
- Maintaining operating rooms’ medical supply inventories
- Assists in the admission, processing, and discharge of patients
- Process and maintain medical emergency supplies at all times
- Provide direct patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse
- Performing any other health duties outlined in the state’s CNA scope
An obstetrics patient care technician is a vital component in the hospital and offers much-needed physical and technical support for the obstetric unit to perform optimally.
2. Pediatric technician
A pediatric technician is a nurse aide who offers direct patient care to children’s hospitals and other healthcare facilities with pediatric units.
The pediatric CNA usually takes on more responsibility than general CNAs since dealing with young children is more challenging than with other patients.
Nursing assistants in pediatric hospitals usually have advanced training in child health care, including Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Pediatric Emergency Assessment Recognition and Stabilization (PEARS) training,
Pediatric CNAs in a hospital setting can work as pediatric surgical assistants, ambulatory pediatric technicians, direct care nurse assistants, and pediatric telemetry technicians.
The main duties of a pediatric CNA include:
- Perform clerical work, including processing patient particulars from admission to discharge
- Provide direct patient care, including bathing and feeding patients
- Check patients vitals, including blood pressure, height, and weight
- Monitor patients and report to a registered nurse in case of emergencies
- Ensure adequate stocking of medical supplies
- Maintaining cleanliness and general hygiene of patient rooms
- Maintain hygiene of treatment areas, including disposal of biomedical waste
- Perform all other general duties under the supervision of a registered nurse
Pediatric technicians work closely with other pediatric healthcare staff to provide high-quality services to children.
3. Operating room assistant
A surgical technician is a CNA who specifically works in a surgical department providing nursing support to surgeons and patients during medical operations.
Operating room assistants are integral for patients’ overall care before and after surgery.
The main duties of an operating room assistant include:
- Assist patients with activities of daily living (bathing, nail cutting, brushing teeth)
- Prep and transport patients to and from operating rooms
- Responsible for sterilizing and arranging medical equipment and supplies used in surgery
- Prep the operating room
- Perform clerical duties, including updating patient information
- Clearing the operating and disposing of medical waste
- Assist during the surgery as per the surgeon’s instructions
- Monitor patient’s fluid intake and pain levels post-operation
- Checking patient’s vitals during specific times as stipulated by the RN
Operating room CNAs usually work full time supporting the efforts of other surgical health care professionals.
4. Emergency room (ER) technician
Emergency room nursing assistants provide the first point of contact for patients with emergencies.
The ER work environment requires CNAs to be fast and detail-oriented when dealing with emergencies.
Emergency Room CNAs may have Basic Life Support(BLS) and Emergency Room Technician(EMT) training.
The Emergency Room CNA’s duties include:
- Processing patient information and uploading it to the hospital’s management system
- Read patient’s vitals, including blood pressure and heartbeat
- Perform wound care, including cleaning, sterilizing, and dressing wounds
- Taking EKG readings in some hospitals
- Helping physicians fit crutches, slings and make plasters
- Prepping and transporting patients for X Rays, CT scans, and other medical imaging departments
- Performing point-of-care tests (blood glucose, pregnancy, fecal occult blood, and rapid strep tests)
- Maintain cleanliness of patient rooms and treatment areas
- Collect necessary laboratory samples(sputum, stool, urine)
- Monitor patients for any adverse changes and report to RN
Emergency room CNAs apply their training and experience to ensure that emergency rooms operate optimally and offer high-quality services to patients.
5. Acute Care CNA
An Acute care CNA is a professional medical caregiver that provides nursing services in a hospital’s acute care, ICU, and emergency department.
These nursing assistants are a vital part of a hospital’s human resources that ensure critical care departments run smoothly.
Acute care CNA duties in hospitals include:
- Assisting patients through the activities of daily living (grooming, bathing, eating)
- Maintaining the hygiene of patient rooms and treatment areas
- Checking and monitoring patients’ vital signs
- Providing clerical support to the department
- Maintaining adequate stocks of department medical supplies
- Sterilizing and maintaining feeding tubes and IV lines
- Transporting and turning immobile patients
Acute care CNAs typically attend an acute care CNA training that broadens the CNA scope to provide the specialist services needed in these hospital settings.
Critical care nursing assistants are usually full-time hospital employees and typically work 24-hour shifts to provide patients with the required health services,
6. Telemetry CNA
Telemetry units are specialized hospital departments that electronically monitor patients with serious cardiovascular conditions like heart failures and strokes.
Nursing assistants who work in telemetry units usually have telemetry training and provide direct patient care while supporting other telemetry staff.
Telemetry CNAs usually perform these functions:
- Check patients vitals, including blood sugar
- Help patients move to x-ray rooms, catheterization laboratory, and other imaging units
- Assist patients with daily activities of living (bathing, brushing, hair, and skincare)
- Monitor patients’ condition and report to RN in case of any changes
- Perform clerical work (help admit and discharge patients)
- Take inventory of available and needed medical supplies
- Respond to patient bed calls
Some hospitals train their telemetry CNAs to take EKG readings and apply catheters if the state CNA scope allows it.
7. CNA clerk
In a hospital setting, personal care technicians (PCT) can double as medical transcriptionists and clerical officers.
Due to their training and experience, CNAs in a hospital setting are conversant with the medical language, terms, and writings, making them excellent transcriptionists.
The medical clerical CNA job description hospital includes:
- Prepare patient medical records, reports, and summaries from doctors and other healthcare professionals dictated notes
- Receive patient calls, help in patient scheduling and arrange patients’ doctor visits
- Update patient records to the hospital’s health information system
- Record entries into patients’ flow charts, sheets, and treatment tables
- Update the departmental stock records of medical supplies and equipment
- Provide high-quality customer service to patients and their families
- Arrange and organize conference facilities when necessary
A CNA clerical officer helps a hospital department operate optimally by providing important administrative assistance.
8. Patient Care Technician (PCT) oncology
An oncology PCT works in a hospital’s oncology department providing direct patient care to cancer patients.
The oncology CNA directly works under the direct supervision of a skilled nursing professional to provide comprehensive health services to patients.
The oncology CNA position in the hospital is critical to the success of the patient’s radiation program.
Being a CNA in a hospital’s oncology unit is a rewarding career choice as you’ll get to participate in a cancer patient’s recovery journey.
These are some of the duties and responsibilities of an oncology CNA:
- Assist in the patient admission and discharge process
- Taking patient vitals, including blood pressure, and respiratory rates
- Collecting lab samples, including sputum, stool, and urine samples
- Sterilizing radiology medical equipment
- Maintaining proper stocks of department medical supplies
- Maintain hygiene of patient and treatment rooms
- Ambulate patients to oncology and radiotherapy rooms
- Provide patients direct care assistance(oral and body health)
Working as a CNA in a hospital’s oncology unit is rewarding and allows you to gain practical skills dealing with oncology equipment and apparatus.
Let’s switch gears and analyze why working in a hospital as a CNA is a smart career choice.
Advantages of CNA hospital jobs
CNAs work in various healthcare institutions, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, assisted living communities, hospices, and rehabilitation centers.
The different CNA job types offer a unique set of challenges and rewards to a patient care technician.
Here are some of the advantages of a CNA hospital job:
1. Better training and practical experience
If you’re a CNA who wishes to gain relevant CNA experience, then a hospital is the best choice.
Hospitals offer a good training ground for nursing aides due to a large number of departments and varied sets of patients.
Depending on a hospital’s staffing policy, CNAs can work in the inpatient, surgery, oncology, obstetrics, telemetry, and acute care departments.
The different hospital departments allow CNAs to gain first-hand experience in patient care under the guidance of skilled nurses.
CNAs can work in part-time or full-time roles in hospitals.
2. Higher pay
On average, hospital CNAs make more money than CNAs working in other healthcare facilities.
According to estimates by ZipRecruiter, hospital CNAs earn the highest salaries at $17 per hour compared to home health CNAs who earn $13 per hour.
Specialized CNAs who work in specialized hospital units like the ICU, oncology, psychiatry, and surgery earn even more than regular CNAs.
According to a bureau of labor statistics report for 2020, hospital nursing aides earn $32160 per year compared to home care CNAs who earn $29210 per year.
The bureau of labor statistics reports further states that Alaska paid the highest to hospital CNAs at $19.15 per hour while Louisiana paid the least at $10.94 per hour.
Factors that affect the CNA hospital pay range include experience, hospital size, location, additional CNA training(BLS, EMT training), hospital department, and responsibility.
3. Excellent working terms and benefits
Most nursing assistant hospital jobs are full-time and offer great employee benefits, including healthcare insurance, retirement plans, paid vacations, and life insurance.
The hospital CNA jobs package comes with a sign-on bonus and other work incentives like overtime pay.
Unlike other healthcare facilities, hospitals offer CNAs a stimulating and exciting working environment.
Due to the diverse mix of hospital employees, CNAs have an opportunity to grow both professionally, socially, and culturally.
As equal employment opportunities, employers and hospitals will hire you irrespective of your national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion.
Hospitals work round the clock and can comfortably accommodate your plans whether you’re continuing education to be registered or wish to work per diem.
You can opt for full-time, part-time, day shift, or night shift, whichever works for you.
This kind of flexibility is seldom found in other CNA positions due to their nature of operations.
5. Career Advancement
Most hospitals offer their nursing assistants the opportunity to improve their skills and training through in-house training and mentoring programs.
Additionally, hospital CNAs have the greatest likelihood of continuing education and transitioning to RN or LPN positions.
Hospital CNAs usually acquire specialist skills in their respective departments allowing them to earn more and gain hands-on experience.
Working in a hospital is the best career choice for an ambitious patient care technician who wishes to grow professionally.
There are two sides to a coin, and a CNA hospital job has its own set of challenges and disadvantages.
Disadvantages of a hospital CNA job
1. High-pressure job
CNAs working in hospitals experience more pressure and variance in their daily routine compared to other CNAs.
Hospitals are naturally busier and more demanding than other healthcare facilities like nursing homes or assisted living centers.
CNAs in a hospital setting generally put in more hours and exert more energy than their counterparts in other healthcare facilities.
2. Getting a hospital job is harder
According to the bureau of labor statistics 2020 report, only 6% of certified nursing assistants work due to the high competition and low CNA turnover.
CNAs who wish to work in hospitals may have to volunteer their services or improve their CNA skill set by enrolling in advanced courses like RN and LPN to bag a hospital job.
The extra effort and financial obligations force most CNAs to settle for non-hospital jobs.
3. Emotionally draining
Unlike other places where CNAs work, hospitals are naturally depressing.
The sight of people constantly suffering and dying can emotionally drain a CNA.
Even though the other healthcare facilities where CNAs work may have sick people, the gruesome reality of hospitals is quite different.
CNA hospital jobs are the perfect launching career for ambitious CNAs who want to grow in nursing.
By working in a hospital, nursing assistants get first-hand experience dealing with different patients and specialize in different medical fields.
And although a hospital CNA job may be emotionally draining and more physical than other CNA jobs, the rewards of a hospital CNA job greatly outweigh the cons.
We hope that our well-researched article on CNA hospital jobs has answered what CNAs do in hospitals.
Consider using our interactive CNA hospital job guide when selecting your preferred hospital nursing assistant job.
Read on for our in-depth answers to our reader’s frequently asked questions.