A Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA as they’re referred to, carries out general medical treatment processes according to the administration of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN). While they are tyically required to accomplish general tasks, nursing assistants have opportunities to deal directly with the patients. For this reason, CNA certification is required to ensure patients get great care primarily from highly-trained nursing assistants.
Sometimes known as a ‘home health aide’ or ‘patient care assistant’, a CNA is taught to operate in a wide variety of settings which range from hospitals and nursing homes to assisted living facilities and personal homes. Satisfying yet demanding, working as a Certified Nursing Assistant is regarded as a launchpad to more enhanced health careers down the road.
CNA and the Nursing Segment
CNA education continues to be increasingly available as the need for qualified health assistants continues to remain strong. Indeed, present market trends predict a 26% demand growth for Certified Nursing Assistants and 49% for home health aides by 2016. Consequently, the CNA designation has become an ideal starting point for many individuals hoping for a lucrative career in the health care industry.
A number of clinics have elevated CNA turn over rates. For that reason, the demand for newly trained nursing assistants is practically endless. This turnover is generally due to Certified Nursing Assistants leaving the discipline to advance themselves on the professional ladder. It’s important to note that Registered nurses and Nursing Aides are both exposed to the same stressors. Due to this fact, prospective nursing aides must learn to develop highly effective work integrity at the outset of the CNA training period.
Accountabilities and Responsibilities
A nursing assistant is delegated by LPNs or RNs to execute basic bedside care. CNA-to-patient interaction can be a delicate process, and that’s why courses and qualifications are mandated by law.
With regards to role, CNA training is different from orderlies and medical aides. Orderlies are accountable for managing equipment servicing and wheelchair issuance along with other daily procedures. Medical aides work immediately underneath the physician but unlike nursing assistants, they don’t require any kind of official certification.
The main duties of a CNA include:
- Patient turning and repositioning: To prevent pressure ulcers among the post-operative and bed-ridden patients, nursing assistants are assigned to reposition the patient every couple hours. Protection of both patient and CNA is a major concern. As a result, basic principles in the right body positioning ought to be practiced.
- Hygiene: To make sure of the patient’s well-being, nursing aides also help with sustaining cleanliness at all times. Ranging from shampooing to basic oral care, nursing aides are responsible for trying to keep patients clean and restful.
- Vital signs – Vital sign taking and monitoring are basic processes which are crucial for a comprehensive patient analysis. Vital signs include the body temperature, breathing rate, pulse rate and blood pressure level.
Education and Accreditation
Dependent on where you are located, a State Licensing Board in most cases would need a prospective CNA to complete a certification exam. Certification only comes after one effectively accomplishes the CNA training required by law. The good news is, the training time frame only lasts between 6 to 12 weeks; as a result, entry into the workforce is much quicker compared to other healthcare fields.
CNA classes online are also available for individuals who currently hold a full-time job but are aiming to pursue a CNA. For individuals who are serious, CNA classes are generally made available from technical or vocational schools for a minimum of 75 hours.