All you should know about CNA
Who is a CNA?
A CNA or a Certified Nursing Assistant is an individual that helps people who are in need of healthcare under the guidance or supervision of a RN (Registered Nurse) or a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse). Being a CNA positions you to be in direct contact with patient care since a nursing assistant’s role is considered important when it comes to day to day operations in hospitals and various health care providing institutions. Certified Nursing Assistants are also known as home health assistants, nurse techs, nurse aid, patient care technicians etc. A CNA usually works at a number of medical establishments that require patient care.
What does a CNA do?
The main role of a Certified Nursing Assistant is to help out patients with their day to day tasks such as having meals, cleaning themselves and other basic necessities. As a CNA, you keep on expanding your relationship with the patients since you will be interacting with them frequently while being a CNA exposes you to many responsibilities which will diverge repeatedly. The set of everyday jobs that you are assigned will depend on the type of facility that you work in and the time of shift that you undertake.
A perfect example would be if you are working a night shift in a hospital or similar institution. You will receive updates from the day shift registered nurse regarding the current patients before you start your rounds. Attentiveness is important and make sure that all patients have what they require for the rest of the day. However, the night shift is not always an easy shift to tackle. A CNA will have to answer bedside calls, assist in prepping patients for surgery and also provide general support for patients who find it difficult to rest or sleep during the night.
However, the day shift of a certified nursing assistant mainly consists of preparing a patient’s daily routine. Some of the very basic tasks that you will need to adhere to in the morning include washing and dressing the patient and feeding them when the need arises. Systematic organization and efficiency in these tasks is important since you will be handling many patients during a given time frame. There are occasions when a CNA will have to change the patient’s bedding while the patient enjoys their meal and the task often multiplies when the house is full. Therefore, well organized and meticulous services are always a plus point.
Another fact that you should remember as a certified nursing assistant is that you are not always required to offer support simply to your patients. You will also be assigned to assist your RN when requested. Your responsibilities will include maintaining daily charts and providing reports to the shift that follows later. There are instances when you will be in charge of medical supplies and even assist in preparing rooms when admitting patients. Make sure that you fully grasp the distinction between the medical facilities that you work for. The role that you undergo in a nursing facility will vary to the one that you undergo in an urgent care facility. A basic example would be the meals that are offered to the patients. If you are working in a hospital, the patient will remain in the confinement of his / her room while the meal will be served inside. However, a nursing home patient will require assistance to have the meal out of his / her room. Communicating with the patients, assisting them when taking a walk and simply keeping company so that they are not left alone is also a part of the role you have to play if you are a CNA at a nursing home.
How to become a CNA
If you are planning on becoming a certified nursing assistant you are indeed taking the right path since there is a forecast of a job growth of over 20% in the years to come. The basic qualifications to become a CNA consist of your high school diploma or GED along with your training as a nursing assistant. CNA training programs are offered at various private institutes but make sure that they are highly approved by your state’s nursing board.
Once the program work is done and dusted, a state exam must be completed to test your basic nursing knowledge and expertise. If you have gone through proper training through any of these programs you should be able to answer questions related to rights of the patient, communication skills, day to day activities and patient needs, legal terminology, morals, networking in a team and assorted topics related to providing medical assistance. Many study guides are widely available on the net if you require more content to be thorough with the subject. Forums are accessible on the net as well so that you can interact with people with similar backgrounds.
The CNA program can be completed within a short period of time while the time duration is usually 6 to 12 weeks. A CNA program basically consists of a study guide of the proficiency in nursing, proper patient nourishment, disease control, the anatomy of the human body etc. Proper practical knowledge is provided during medical trials. Certified nursing assistant program policies are generally variable state-wise which is something that you should keep in mind.
If you want to further your career and be a registered nurse, you can earn a degree from a recognized college or institution which will take about two years. There are established organizations that offers bridge programs for CNA’s to pave their path to become a registered nurse while they are not as lengthy as a degree. A CNA licensure is obtainable if you pass a state issued competency exam which consists of multiple choice questions as well as practical’s where you will have to demonstrate various skills in a given medical condition. However, according to rules that prevail in most states of the US, you will require to renew your CNA license once every two years to keep it active.
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