How To Become A Certified Nursing Assistant

If you are interested in working in the healthcare field but are not ready to commit to long years of medical schooling, then we may have just the job for you. Becoming a certified nursing assistant allows you to work in healthcare with a fraction of the training the nurses and doctors have to take on.

CNAs, or certified nursing assistants, help take care of the patients under the supervision of doctors and nurses. Usually, tasks of a CNA include listening to call signals from patients, feeding patients, monitoring vital signs, helping patients move about and remain relaxed in their beds, and helping patients bathe and dress.

CNAs may be employed in skilled nursing facilities and clinics, or they may help patients at home. CNAs work at all hours of the day, and sometimes their job is physically demanding. To learn more about this career, continue reading.

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Photo credit: bazar.balzer-photography.com

Training To Become A CNA

Certified nursing assistants undergo a training program before commencing patient care. Such services are often provided by community colleges. However, they are often supported by other organizations, such as the Red Cross. Applicants for CNA programs typically have to pass an aptitude test, a physical exam, and a background check for criminal history before being accepted.

CNA program students take classes in nursing theory, learn how to take vital signs, and how to take care of patients. They also learn how to resuscitate patients. CNA programs provide clinical activities that offer opportunities for students, under the supervision of experienced nurses, to care for real patients.

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Average Salary Of A CNA

As per the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2016, the mean annual average salary for licensed nursing assistants was $26,590. It is important to note that this varies according to the environment. CNAs working in a government setting such as a VA hospital earned the highest median salary at $37,450. At the same time, home health care has the lowest median salary at $25,590.

Certifications Needed To Become A CNA

Certified nursing assistants must be certified in their state in order to provide care to patients. Each state recognizes a collection of CNA training programs, and to be confirmed, graduates of those programs have to pass an exam. Most states use the National Nurse Aide Evaluation System from the National Council of State Boards to assess licensing.

Some CNAs pursue additional certifications such as designations like Home Health Aid, Geriatric Nursing Assistant, Certified Medicine Aide, and Dialysis Technician. States may require CNAs to have one of these certifications before they can work in some settings, such as dialysis centers, and perform specific tasks, such as medication dispensing.

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How To Work As A CNA

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that CNAs’ jobs would rise by 21% between 2012 and 2020, making it one of America’s fast-growing occupations. The generation of the baby boomers are aging, and more CNAs will be needed in their homes, in hospitals, and in skilled nursing facilities to provide treatment for them.

CNAs can progress up the career ladder with additional education and experience. CNAs will need to complete another course of study to become a certified professional nurse. Becoming a registered nurse requires the completion of a degree program for an associate or a bachelor’s degree. Nurses will seek even more training to become nurse practitioners, with advanced experience.

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Conclusion

Nursing assistants can work on a variety of schedules that vary significantly according to the employer’s needs. Some work several shifts throughout the week, while others work on a set schedule and earn an annual salary. Employees working on an hourly basis can receive overtime pay.

At the same time, payroll workers would need to negotiate that with the hiring committee. The earning potential of an employee is determined by the hospital’s needs and the contract for a bid.

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