In today’s challenging world of medicine, certified nursing assistants (CNA) are on the front lines of a nursing team. A CNA is one of the most vital cogs in the wheel of daily nursing operation. A compassionate and skilled certified nursing assistant will help minimize the stress of the patients and their families while being treated for an illness or injury. Typically, a CNA will work under the direction of a nurse, or sometimes a doctor. They use their education and healthcare skills to assist the nurses in a hospital, nursing home, doctor’s office or clinic or other types of care facilities. The certified nursing assistant assists with daily tasks such as helping patients with their daily routine which may include bathing and dressing, serving meals and light housekeeping. CNA’s may also gather basic patient health information by taking blood pressure, temperature and pulse rates and report those findings to their nursing supervisor. A CNA may also assist with medical procedures, report on the change of status of a patient or escort a patient within the medical facility for medical tests. CNA’s often have more contact with the patient than other medical personnel, as they help them live more comfortably for the duration of their medical stay, and usually develop a strong bond not only with the patient but the family as well.
Typically, Certified Nursing Assistants programs are offered at community colleges or technical schools and can be completed in a short period of time, usually less than a year. A prerequisite is a high school diploma or a GED. The student can expect to be challenged to determine if they can handle the mental and physical demands of such a career. Educational and certification requirements vary from state to state but a typical course of study might include medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, infection control, basic nursing skills, CPR, first aid, basic computer operation and a clinical internship. Students learn how to take vital signs, dress, bathe and feed a patient and provide catheter care. These skills age practiced during a clinical internship at a hospital, nursing home or other care facility. The internship is supervised by a licensed health care professional. Before you enroll in a program, make sure it is approved by whichever state agency approves CNA programs and curriculum in your state.
In order to receive your CNA certification, a student must complete 75 hours of nursing assistant training and pass a comprehensive examination. Some states have additional requirements and graduates should check with the local registration board for a complete list of requirements. In order to maintain CNA certification, CNA’s might be required to complete continuing education programs every year or perhaps every two years. If you move to another state after being certified you will most likely need to become certified in your new state.
With a CNA certification in hand, one can expect to find employment in a nursing home, hospital, assisted care facility, hospice, doctor’s office, urgent care center, day care centers and schools or medical clinics. CNA’s should have a desire to help people of all ages and abilities and be willing to work hard. A CNA should be responsible, compassionate, patient, emotionally stable and cheerful. CNA’s should also be tactful, honest, willing to take orders and comply with all the rules and regulations regarding patient confidentially. If these are qualities you posses and you have a desire to help people, a career as a CNA might right for you.