CNA’s or Certified Nursing Assistants are an integral part of any healthcare facility as they are responsible for directly taking care of patients and helping them with their basic needs in addition to many other tasks. Different titles may be used to describe a CNA depending on how you look at it. They are, for instance, referred to as nurse aides, home health aides, personal caregivers, and so on. However, the job description of a CNA remains the same.
A CNA is needed in anywhere patient care is needed. You can find in every health facility, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Besides, a CNA may also be employed in patients’ home. The CNA may either work as an independent entity or as an employee of an agency or healthcare facility that provides the kind of services he/she has to offer.
CNA Job Description
CNAs are usually employed under the supervision of a nurse; it is the CNA’s responsibility to take care of the most basic needs of their patients and then report to the nursing staff. Since the CNA is in regular contact with patients, he is usually the first to notice any change in the conditions of the patients. There are several tasks that can be included into the list of a CNA’s duties; among which we have the following:
- Helping patients with bathing and may even need to give a bed bath
- Regularly changing the patients linens and taking them to the laundry
- Assisting patients who are too sick to eat by themselves with their meals
- Dressing and undressing patients
- Providing assistance to patients with regards to their hygiene such as brushing teeth, grooming, shaving, combing hair
- Helping patients to the bathroom
- The CNA will also help transport patients who cannot move by themselves
- Some patients may also need help with their basic exercises
- Keeping an eye on the conditions of the patients under their care
- Recording all the important information that has to do with patient conditions
This makes it quite clear that CNA’s play a major role in the operating of healthcare centers and facilities. They do not perform any complex medical procedures but they are certainly an integral and indispensable component of the healthcare system.
Certified Nursing Assistant Training
In order to become a CNA, one needs to undergo the required training which can last from six to twelve weeks. These courses are typically available in colleges and healthcare centers. Unlike the training of RNs and LPNs, CNA training is less medically intensive because after all a CNA is not supposed to undertake any complex medical operations.
The CNA training program will usually include two major parts: theoretical and hands-on training. Among the topics that are usually covered in the course we have: anatomy, physiology, nutrition and so on. The CNA is also trained to take the vital signs of patients. The topics covered in the training can differ a little from one program to another. There are also some other skills that may be included in the training such as communication skills, first aid and how to cater for age-specific needs of patients. Nevertheless, the training will involve a lot of hands-on sessions as these give the trainees a feel of the real life experience of a CNA.
Before you can become a Certified Nurse Assistant, candidates will need to take and pass the CNA exam. The training will usually cover most of the questions and topics that are needed for passing this test. The NCLEX-PN licensing examination is the exam I am referring to here. The passing of this exam make the candidates eligible for obtaining a CNA certification that will eventually permits them to practice this profession. The duties of a CNA can differ a bit from one healthcare facility to another which is why they need to be willing to adapt to the new conditions if they are to find a job quickly.
The responsibilities of a CNA may seem as tough chores for some people. However, if you would like to enjoy your job as a CNA, you need to appreciate the work that you are doing. Being of service to other humans who are in need can be one of the most satisfactory and fulfilling experiences.