Certified Nursing Assistants: Who are they?
Do you have a passion for helping others? Do you have that pull in your heart whenever you see the sick and the injured? Do you have that calling to care for others? Then a job in the healthcare profession just might be the one fit for you.
You can consider the job of being a certified nursing assistant (CNA). CNAs are people who, as part of the healthcare team, provide health care services to patients and facility residents. They are also known by the terms nursing aides or orderlies. They perform and provide basic health care services to patients, with primary responsibilities such as: taking the patient’s vital signs; assisting the patients in eating, bathing and other activities of daily living; transfer the patients from the bed to the wheelchair, and vice-versa; hand out medication which may vary according to his competency and level of training; apply bandages and support materials as directed by the physician or the nurse; relay the patient’s concerns or problems to the supervising Nurse; and document the events and other activities related to the patient.
How to become one and what to expect
If you find this job appealing and that this is the job that you envision yourself to be part of in the next couple of years, then, what are you waiting for? Here are some pointers on how to become a CNA. First on the list is you need to enroll in a college, hospital, or Red Cross office offering a Certificate Program in Nursing Assistance. But before doing such, in some institutions it is required and needed that you take up the some prerequisites such as CPR, First Aid, Medical Terminology and Anatomy and Physiology.
Upon enrollment in this training program, you need to present your high school diploma or GED certification. If you’re too busy to attend an actual class, you may also find some institutions that offer online courses in Nursing Assistance. Once you are enrolled in a certificate program, be prepared to be indulged in two courses: the basic patient care course and clinical externship. The first one which is taught and given by registered nurses educates you on your duties and responsibilities as a CNA. It is a 75-hour program which covers taking vital signs, assisting the patient in bathing and eating, providing catheter care, and a lot more. Also, health law and medical ethics may be covered in the classroom course.
For the clinical externship part, you get to finally practice the skills and knowledge you have acquired in real-world settings. It may be done in a nursing home or a local hospital, wherein you will have a licensed supervisor as your guide in accomplishing your clinical externship requirements which involves 16 hours.
A certified nursing assistant’s job should not be taken lightly. Since they, along with other members of the health team, deal with people’s lives every day, it is required that they first must be certified prior to practice. This is to ensure they are fit and capable of doing his tasks and responsibilities. Also, 75 hours’ worth of nursing aide training should be completed in order to be considered as a bona fide CNA. You also need to take and pass a Comprehensive examination. After all of these requirements are fulfilled and completed, you will be given state certification, and you can now fulfill your dream of helping others in need as a CNA.