Certified Nursing Assistant
What is Certified Nursing Assistant?
Certified Nursing Assistants, commonly known as CNAs work as assistants, under or with the collaboration with registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and other medical staff. CNAs are also known as nursing assistants, nurse aides, patient care associates or auxiliary nurses. Although the job of a CNA or a nursing aide is an important one, it is not at all glamorous. These professionals have to take care of the basic needs of the patients like bathing, toileting, brushing, using the bedpan, assisting them in walking, helping them in doing their daily exercises, and so on. They are also responsible for checking the vital signs of the patients like difficulty in breathing, dilating of the eyes, and so on. They also have to maintain the records of the patients relating to the behavior and improvement in the health.
Where Does a CNA Stand?
The job of a certified nursing assistant is very important. This is one of the jobs that will always be in demand, whether the economy of a country is flourishing or suffering an economic slowdown. This is because the demand for medical services is always expected to grow in every country. Another reason that this job continues to attract students is that it does not require a huge investment or time for the completion of the course. In fact, many students take up this job in order to pay the huge fees for their higher education.
Role of a CNA
These nursing aides work closely with patients and they are responsible for basic care services. They act as communicators between doctors and nurses. There are many skills required for those who aspire to become a nursing aide. Those who want to work as a nursing assistant should have the compassion and empathy to serve people who are ill. They should have a lot of patience to deal with the patients and their moods and tempers. They should never lose their calm in emergency situations, and act responsibly. Interpersonal skills are also very important, since they have to interact with patients and their families. The work of a CNA is stressful and physically tiring. They need to support the patients while walking, assist them to exercise, reposition them to prevent bedsores and so on. So the candidates must have good stamina and should be willing to work hard.
To Become a CNA
To become a CNA you have to complete a training course and then obtain a license in the state where you wish to work. To be a successful nursing assistant, a person needs to be a team player who is capable of taking orders well. However, they are trained for all such skills during the courses. After the completion of the course, the candidates need to take the certification exams, for which they have to pay an extra fee. This exam is conducted by the institutes in which one has enrolled his or her name. The candidates should be very thorough with the theoretical knowledge imparted in the class as well the training imparted in the practical and the clinical sessions. The pattern of the exam may also vary from one state to another. So you should prefer to take the test in the same state where you have opted for the course.
The various things that are taught in the courses include human anatomy, infection control, health and population education, nursing ethics, basic medical terminology, patient care and safety, handling hazardous equipment and so on. They are also given information pertaining to the various the legal issues that they might face and how to avoid them.
After being licensed as a CNA, the candidates are eligible to work in hospitals, private clinics, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers, and they can also take care of home bound patients. After gaining experience, they can also take up specific training programs that will help them to enhance their skills.
Apart from getting a license, a well written C.N.A. resume is a key to get noticed for a job interview. Although the salary for an entry level certified nursing assistant is not very high, it increases with experience. After acquiring some experience, the nursing aides can opt to do courses that help them to specialize in their field. For example, CNAs who are trained to take care of home bound patients, can take up a course where they are trained to assist doctors and nurses in emergency rooms or even the critically ill patients. After acquiring years of experience, many CNAs take up a job as a licensed practical nurse.