Duties and Essential Information about Becoming a CNA written by: Topcontentcreator Certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a nurse who has been trained to help with patient care in hospitals, clinics and long-term care institutions, usually under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or other qualified medical professional. This job can be very demanding, but it is also highly rewarding. Those looking to enter this profession should have compassion and a genuine desire to help care for sick, injured and elderly individuals. Patience is also crucial to the job, along with self-confidence and a high level of maturity. Strong interpersonal skills with an emphasis on being a team player are especially valuable traits for all nurses.
Pros and Cons of Being a CNA
– Becoming a nursing assistant is very simple and has very minimal eligibility requirements
– It offers unmatched job satisfaction, especially for those individuals who are good communicators, compassionate, and really interested in caring for people
– Training to become a nursing assistant takes a short period of time and is cheap
– Flexible working hours
– It provides an opportunity for students to work in a fast-paced environment found in health care settings and get a real understanding as to whether or not a career in the medical field is right for them
– Jobs for nursing assistants are available in abundance, with attractive health benefits
– Many job opportunities are also very likely in the future
– Some tasks of a nurse aide can be very tiring and even unpleasant
– The job is fraught with health risks, since CNAs come into direct contact with people who have infectious diseases as well as medications and other substances that are potentially harmful or toxic
– This occupation pays relatively low wages, but it can be a good stepping stone for further career advancement options
– This occupation can be stressful and emotionally draining due to shift work and long work hours as well as having to take care of people who are sick and dying
CNA Job Description
Nursing assistants play an important role in basic/resident care activities in hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, and other health care settings. These professionals help residents and patients to carry out their day-to-day activities, assisting in their personal care, providing them with the necessary medical attention and also creating opportunities for social interaction among themselves or with staff and other people. The basic job duties of a CNA typically involve providing physical help for residents or patients so they can perform necessary activities which they cannot accomplish by themselves. This includes assisting patients with things like bathing, feeding, dressing and so on. And because nursing assistants work in close proximity to patients, they are also often tasked with taking or monitoring vital signs and reporting patients’ concerns to nurses and doctors. In addition, nursing assistants are responsible for ensuring a healthy and conducive environment so as to enhance residents and patients’ overall well-being. This can be achieved in several ways, such as arranging religious activities, meaningful engagement, social interactions and other events that add value to a better quality of life of the patients or the elderly.
– Bathing, feeding and dressing patients
– Assisting patients with grooming
– Making beds and helping clean rooms
-Taking patient vital signs
– Setting up medical equipment
– Assisting with some medical procedures
– Answering calls for help
– Transporting and assisting patients with movement tasks
– Taking note of any changes in the physical or emotional state of a patient
– Organizing events that provide uplifting entertainment or spiritual growth
How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistants
There are certain steps that one must take in order to work as a nurse assistant. First, aspiring CNAs must complete an accredited training program that is approved by their state. Then, they must take and pass the state competency exam. A training program should have a number of basic elements met in order to be sufficient for the certification exam. Each state has its own hourly requirement for CNA training, but the federal government requires that nurse aide training contain no less than 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which should involve practical or hands-on “clinical tasks” under the direct supervision of a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN). CNA classes and training programs may be available at high schools, community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes, nursing facilities, hospitals and other health care businesses. After completing a state-approved nurse aide training program, candidates can go on to tackle the competency evaluation test to become certified nursing assistants.
How Long Does It Take To Become A CNA?
The length of each nursing assistant training program varies in accordance with state requirements, but it can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks to complete. This means one can complete training and earn a license to practice as a CNA in as little as two months.
A high school diploma, or G.E.D. certificate, or qualifying scores on reading and math competency tests is typically required for admission into a state-approved CNA education program that allows one to prepare for the competency exam and become a nurse’s aide. Some training institutions may require applicants to first complete a series of prerequisite courses before admission into a nursing assistant certificate program. In addition, prospective nursing assistants must meet certain age and health requirements, which can include: being at least 16 years old, having CPR and First Aid Certification, undergoing a physical exam, submission of proof of immunizations, and passing a drug screening exam.
Nursing assistants are required to be state certified. Specific requirements for certification vary by state, so prospective nurse aides should check with their state’s Board of Nursing or Department of Health for specific information. But, generally, one needs to complete an approved training program and pass a written exam and a skills evaluation. However, it’s worth noting that some high school curricula include education for nursing assistants. Also, a few states permit home health agencies to hire home health aides if they can pass the exam without attending training.
To work as a nursing assistant in any health care setting in the country, individuals must have a valid license issued by their state. Applicants must meet the requirements given in their state’s laws and regulations in order to be considered for licensure. The requirements include undertaking required training in an approved program and passing a test. Individuals who pass the test are considered to be competent and, therefore, placed on the CNA Registry in the state. certification, or license to practice, as a nursing assistant must be renewed every 2 years.
CNA Job Outlook
Statistics by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that employment for nursing assistants and orderlies will grow faster than the average rate for all occupations from 2012 to 2022, at a rate of 21%. This is mainly attributable to the long-term care needs of an ever-increasing elderly population. But aside from that, financial pressure put on hospitals to discharge patients at the earliest possible time can only increase admissions to nursing homes and other long-term care institutions. As a result, many new jobs will be widely available in nursing facilities and residential care organizations, and job growth will be especially strong in community care facilities for the elderly. Modern advancements in medical technology are also expected to drive demand for nursing assistants; since advanced technologies save and extend more lives, thus increasing the need for the long-term care provided by nurse aides. In addition, many nursing assistants leave the profession to attend training programs that lead to better-paying positions in the medical field. Therefore, individuals looking to enter this field can expect to encounter plentiful job opportunities.
Employed people, by detailed occupation and gender, annual averages
Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides.
Total employed 2,134 (Numbers in thousands)
Percent Women 89%
(1) Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm
(2) Women in Labor Force: http://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/cps/women-in-the-labor-force-a-databook-2014.pdf