A Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA as they're referred to, completes general medical patient treatment methods according to the oversight of a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN). Since they are required lawfully to execute basic tasks, nursing aides get the privilege to directly deal with the patients. For this reason, CNA certification is necessary to ensure patients will get good care and attention exclusively from highly-trained nursing assistants.
Also referred to as a home health aide or patient care assistant, a CNA is taught to be effective in a variety of settings which range from hospitals and nursing facilities to assisted living facilities and private homes. Satisfying yet challenging, the role of a Certified Nursing Assistant is viewed as a ticket to greater, more enhanced health employment opportunities.
Outlook on the CNA and the Nursing Industry
CNA education continues to broaden mainly because the requirement for qualified health aides is strong. In actual fact, current market trends calculate a 26% job growth for Certified Nursing Assistants and 49% for home health aides to 2016. For that reason, CNA continues to be a great entry way for professionals who aspire to establish a vocation in the health care industry.
Most hospitals have high CNA turnover rates so the demand for newly trained nursing aides is almost endless. Certified Nursing Assistants usually leave the profession to advance themselves in the professional ladder. Registered nurses and nursing assistants are both exposed to the same stressors. Therefore, aspiring nursing assistants must learn how to develop strong work ethics early in the CNA training phase.
Roles and Accountabilities
A nursing assistant is assigned by LPNs or RNs to complete general bedside care. CNA-to-patient interaction and communication is a sensitive process, and that is why trainings and accreditations are required for legal reasons.
With regards to role, CNA training is different from orderlies and medical assistants. Orderlies are accountable for addressing equipment servicing, wheelchair issuance and additional day to day operations. Medical aides function directly underneath the physician however as opposed to nursing assistants, they don't need any kind of accreditation.
The general responsibilities of a CNA are as follows:
- Patient repositioning and turning
To prevent bed sores among post-operative and bed-ridden patients, nursing assistants are tasked to reposition the patient every 2 hours. Safety of both the patient and CNA is a primary concern so basic principles in proper body alignment must always be observed.
Vital sign recording and monitoring are basic processes which are necessary to have a comprehensive patient assessment. Vital signs include the body temperature, breathing rate, pulse rate and blood pressure.
- Maintaining hygiene
To be certain of the patient's well being, nursing aides additionally aid in maintaining hygiene at all times. Everything from shampooing to basic oral care, nursing aides are responsible for trying to keep the patients clean and comfortable.
Training and Certification
Depending on your location, a State Licensing Board usually requires an aspiring CNA to pass a certification exam. This certification only comes after one successfully completes the CNA training required by law. However, the training period only lasts between 6 and 12 weeks so transition to employment is easier compared to most other health care fields.
CNA classes online are available for people that currently maintain a full-time job but are meaning to work as a CNA. For those who are interested, CNA classes are most often which are available from technical schools with a minimum of 75 hours of schooling