Have you ever wonder “How long does it take to bcome a CNA?” A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who provides basic health care services to hospital patients, assisted-living or adult day care institutions such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. While these professionals are widely known as CNAs, they are also identified by various titles such as patient care technicians, orderlies or nurse aides.
Job description and work environment
Nursing assistants play significant importance in the comfort and recovery of patients for the recovery and comfort of the patients in their care.
While the blanket standard role for a nursing assistant is chiefly healthcare provision, that role entails several responsibilities, and may vary depending on the station of work. Here are some common duties for CNAs.
• Collecting patient information: In most cases, nursing assistants have daily contact with patients, which enable them to have the most current information of the patients in their care. By providing this information to supervisors, the nursing assistant therefore serves as the liaison between patient and doctor. Also linked to this, the nursing assistant is expected to safeguard patient information as confidential.
• Medication administering: CNAs provide adjunct care by administering massages, dressing, therapeutic births, heat treatment, among others
• Provision of patient hygiene: Nursing assistants are also tasked with catering for patient’s personal hygiene by helping with baths, shaves and also aiding patient’s move to washrooms or any other areas they would like to be moved to.
• Provision of patient comfort: The CNA also ensures the comfort of patients by facilitating transportation of patients, answering patient’s requests among other roles.
• Assist in medical procedures: CNAs may be called upon to lay out medical equipment or tools for patient exams. They may also assist to perform some medical procedure such as drawing blood.
• Perform safety techniques, including providing primary First Aid in emergency situations
• The CNA is also responsible for maintaining medical charts, keeping a check on the dosage of the patient, and ensuring that the medical equipment needed by the patient are fully functional and not faulty in any way.
While qualifying for, and serving in the health care industry appears a formidable challenge- there is truth in this view- qualifying to be a CNA is not as difficult as one may suppose. The curriculum involves basic nursing skills, Physiology and Anatomy, Infection Control, Nutrition among other units.
There are several avenues that one may pursue to gain accreditation:
• On-the-job training: In some cases, healthcare facilities offer free classes, also known as ‘earn while you learn’. This training may take between two to six weeks fulltime and are usually offered to people with no healthcare background. However, it is worth noting that these facilities require the trainee to work at the facility for a certain period in lieu of the training gathered.
• Community college: With a high school education or its equivalent, one can obtain CNA accreditation after completing six to twelve weeks of training at a community college.
• Online training: One may opt to study for a CNA license online by enrolling for the course with a reputable institution.
• Red Cross training: In addition to First Aid techniques and basic response, the Red Cross also offers training that can qualify one as a CNA on basic health care response.
It is also important to keep in mind that most healthcare facilities require that a prospective CNA submit to a background check as well as a drug test.
While accreditation is mandatory for one to serve as a nursing assistant, there are certain intangibles that are not necessarily learned in class, but which determine how successful or unsuccessful someone will be in the industry.
Many people who consider this industry as merely a job to cover the bills often end up become unsuccessful and bitter, and are likely to have made the wrong career choice.
In a sense, based on the nature of the work and the commitment needed, becoming a nursing assistant is in several ways a calling as it is a profession.
Qualities of an effective CNA
Most CNAs are tasked to take care of the disabled and the elderly. To be able to carry out such responsibilities properly, having some level of compassion and empathy towards your clients is vital.
It has been observed that when overwhelmed by the workload and fast pace and challenging situations, nursing assistants who seem to be able to manage stress best are those with true compassion for the people who they are caring for.
The work of a CNA is tough, no question about that. Part of the work involves feeding and washing patients or turning them in bed. If you don’t have the patience, especially in dealing with the elderly, it is highly likely for you to veer off the goal to succeed in this sector.
CNAs are considered primary caregivers, especially in healthcare facilities. The CNA will in all likelihood interact with disabled or elderly patients most of the time. This means that one has to possess unsullied observational skills to enable accurate submission of information on behavioral and health-related information and data to the nurses or doctors.
Work availability differs based on the specific work station. For example, nursing care facilities are considered the largest employer of nursing assistants, with hospitals as second largest employers. Community care facilities for the elderly are the third-largest employer.
On average, the hourly wage of a Certified Nursing Assistant is USD12, translating to roughly USD25, 420 per year.
Many nurse aides want to move up into more involved medical careers, resulting to a high rate of turnover for CNA positions. This means securing work as a CNA is relatively easy.
Another reason why there is such a high turnover in CNA jobs is that CNAs can easily get the necessary education to become Registered Nurses (RN). Taking classes online while continuing to work is more convenient than ever and there are many associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs that CNAs can use to get qualified for better paying work in the health center.
So, do you have a good idea how long does it take to become a CNA? Being a CNA is no walk in the park, but it is a fulfilling job for anyone who really loves helping others.