Learning you have cancer can be devastating. Oncology, the treatment and care of patients with cancer, is a highly specialized field of medicine, requiring the assistance of Oncology CNAs.

 Oncology CNAs typically work in hospitals, cancer centers, and hospice facilities. 

These specialized CNAs work under the direct supervision of professional nursing staff and physicians. Additionally, they have a wide array of responsibilities working with patients and other staff members. 

Oncology CNAs Duties

Certified oncology CNAs have a variety of duties depending on the particular facility in which they are employed. 

However, there are some standard duties that you should expect to perform regularly as an oncology CNA. 

Taking vital signs

Responsibilities of oncology CNAs includes taking and recording patients’ vital signs.

Standard vital signs include blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and respiration. Additionally, vital signs may include height, weight, oxygen level, and blood sugar.  

Monitoring these vital signs is one of the best ways for doctors to monitor the progress of their patients. 

As an oncology CNA, you will be expected to record each patients vital signs during the admission screening. Additionally, you will perform these tasks at various intervals during your work shifts. 

Patient Communication

Oncology CNA’s duties also include various levels of patient communication. For example, CNAs frequently assist patients during the admission and discharge process. 

Additionally, as a CNA working on the oncology ward, have the important distinction of being the one person that these patients see the most.

You will not only keep track of your patients’ vital signs, you will also be a shoulder to cry on and a trusted friend, particularly if you are in this line of work for the right reason – that is, you love people and you care for them very much.

Oncology CNAs also act as a direct line of communication between the patient and his or her doctors – you can offer reassurance and hope to someone who is facing what might be the most frightening and uncertain period of time ever.

Personal Care For Patients

Oncology CNAs provide several tasks related to the personal care of patients. These task vary greatly from patient to patient, depending on each patient’s particular condition.  

Examples of personal care for patients includes, but isn’t limited to: 

  • Transporting patients to other parts of the facility for evaluation, testing, and treatment
  • Assisting patients with using toilets and bedpans
  • Helping patients groom themselves
  • Positioning patients
  • Bathing patients
  • Feeding patients
  • Changing linen and making beds

How to become an Oncology CNA

Specific certification requirements for oncology CNAs vary from state to state. However, there are some requirements that are universal. 

For example, you will need to successfully complete a state approved certified nursing assistant training program. 

Additionally, the nursing board in your state needs to license you as a nursing assistant. Most states also require at least one year of experience in a long-term or acute care facility. 

You will need to check with your state nursing or medical board to obtain a full list of requirements. 

What We Learned About Oncology CNAs

The fight against cancer is a stressful one, and there is no shortage of work to do.

There are battles that are waged daily are to be won! Don’t worry – this is not complicated. Does this sound like a rewarding career to you? If so, it is well within reach. Be sure to look at the options for CNA training which are available, and take advantages of the many resources that you’ll find here.