Getting a CNA Certification (CNA)

Obtaining a CNA certification to become a certified nursing assistant is a new way to get basic training in patient care. With the current nursing shortage in the United States, CNAs have found themselves in high demand and under significant pressure. They now have to deal with larger patient loads and more responsibilities than ever.

Sometimes known as home health aides, nurses’ aides, personal care assistants, or patient care technicians, CNAs are trained to work in a variety of settings. Many CNAs choose to work in hospitals or nursing homes, adult day care centers or assisted living facilities, and even private settings. All ages of patients are represented in CNA care.

CNAs work directly under the supervision of a registered nurse and are required to work closely with patients in order to relay vital information to the nurse in charge. The responsibilities of certified nursing assistants may include:

  • Bathing of patients (whether in bed, shower, or tub)
  • Dressing of patients
  • Toileting of patients
  • Feeding of patients
  • Catheter care and maintenance
  • Assisting with ambulation (moving the patient)
  • Monitoring and taking vital signs
  • Help with physical therapy exercises
  • Answering of call lights
  • Helping wheelchair bound patients with ambulation
  • Turning of bedridden patients to prevent bedsores
  • Making beds and keeping rooms organized
  • Post mortem care of patient
  • Relaying of information to nurses in charge
  • Maintaining proper medical record documentation

The training of a nursing assistant can range from two weeks to a month, depending on the hands-on training that you are able to receive. Many times you will be able to find a CNA training program through your local Red Cross chapter or via local nursing homes. Most classes are taught by a registered nurse who will guide students through basic responsibilities as well as aid with hands-on situations that require a certified nursing assistant.

The work of a CNA is challenging, but also allows the assistant to interact with patients on a personal level, assisting in all of the patients’ daily functions that they may not be able to complete on their own. By helping the patients in their routines, you will be providing them with a comfort that they might not be able to find elsewhere.

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