A certified nursing assistant is someone who has trained to be a support person for registered nurses and licensed practicing nurses in a hospital. They may also work with patients in smaller medical settings that includes private homes. The CNA interacts with the patients on a daily basis, helping them with day to day activities that include medications and personal hygiene.
How to Become a CNA
To become a CNA you must have either a high school diploma or GED, and complete some basic medical training classes. These courses are given by the Red Cross, various learning institutions and include CNA training online. After your classes are completed, you will be required to take an exam to achieve your certification. There are free practice tests available online to help you familiarize yourself with the type of questions you will be asked during your exam.
Usually, training may be completed in three to eight weeks and includes a course load of Nursing Arts 1-3 and an internship, where you will shadow a trained professional in an actual medical setting. The cost can be upwards of several thousands of dollars, but you may be eligible for financial aid. There are even grants available from certain medical facilities and for ex military members. Additional requirements vary from school to school and may include and orientation, background check, physical exam and TB test.
History Behind CNAs
The role of a CNA was created in 1987, when congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act. This created a standard of care in long term living facilities, with actually rules vary from state to state. The state competency test, The Pearson View, consists of not only a written exam but oral as well. This ensures that a CNA is able to carry out their duties with the knowledge and safety required by law.
On the job settings will include, adult day care centers, hospitals and nursing homes. You will be the eyes and ears for the nurses while gathering important information about the patients. Additional responsibilities will include, giving medications, bathing patients and observing any changes in the behavior. The job of a CNA can be hard and involve long days, but in the end your reward is knowing that you have helped those who truly need it.