Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, work closely with patients, and are responsible for providing basic care services to patients such as grooming, bathing, feeding, assisting other staff with medical equipment, and checking vital signs.
CNAs also serve as crucial emotional and social support while providing information regarding patients’ health to nurses.
CNAs generally work in hospitals, nursing homes, and community care facilities for the elderly. They require a high school diploma or GED along with the completion of a 6-to-12-week CNA certificate program. The national median salary for a CNA today is $25,090.
Why Are CNAs Important?
A CNA job puts individuals at the forefront of patient care. They are vital to daily operations in many different types of medical facilities, requiring compassion and skill to provide sufficient care to patients, and minimizing their stress when sick or otherwise unable to care for themselves.
CNAs are also often referred to as nurses’ aides, home health aides, orderlies, and patient care technicians, and work directly under the supervision of nurses to assist them in providing exceptional care for patients.
Some Roles of CNAs
CNAs are responsible for assisting patients with everyday tasks such as bathing, eating, and dressing. Many CNAs tend to develop close bonds with patients because of the time they spend with them.
During night shifts, a CNA may need to take vital signs and make sure that patients have everything they need for the night. CNAs will then be required to answer call lights, help patients going through surgery, empty catheters, or simply provide comfort to patients who are currently upset.
Throughout the day, a CNA will generally need to prepare patients for the rest of the day. This can include washing, feeding breakfast, and dressing in the morning, followed by assisting RNs with daily tasks such as maintaining charts and providing reports, along with rounding up medical supplies when asked.
Tasks will vary depending on the facility, but many of them are the same for nursing homes and other care facilities.
How Can I Become a CNA?
If you want to be a CNA, you shouldn’t have difficulty getting a position, with projected job growth for this position by 2024. You’ll require sufficient nursing assistant training and education, and there are plenty of nursing assistant schools that can provide you with everything you need in this regard.
Once you have completed all necessary coursework, you’ll be required to take a state exam. This will test you on your basic knowledge and skills around nursing, with topics including basic nursing skills, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and infection control. If you pass the exam, you’ll be issued a CNA license that allows you to pursue work in your state.
If you want to keep your license, most states will require you to complete 48 hours of continuing education every two years, which will help keep you up-to-date with the latest practices. If you have more questions, you can refer to this page to learn what to do.
Becoming a CNA has many benefits, which is why you should consider a career in this field today as one of the best job opportunities around.