The role of the Certified Nursing Assistant is varied and broad. These individuals work under the charge of a registered nurse and perform various tasks related to daily living and making patients comfortable. This position is in demand in nursing homes, home health organizations, and hospitals to name a few. Job prospects are very good for this profession due to an emerging geriatric population and an increase in debilitating diseases.
According to the Maryland Board of Nursing, there are also certifications for Geriatric Nursing Assistants, Home Health Aides, Certified Medicine Aide, and Dialysis Technician. These designations offer nursing assistants to work in a more specialized way or setting based on the certification they obtain. All of these certifications along with the Certified Nursing Assistant designation require certification renewal every 2 years.
There are many schools in the Baltimore, MD area that offer training to Certified Nursing Assistants. It is important to study with a program approved by the state and the Maryland Board of Nursing. Five examples of such programs include: Maryland Center for Arts & Technology, Inc., Community College of Baltimore Co., Baltimore City Community College, Sojourner-Douglas College, and Milford Mill Academy. Costs of the training programs vary so this should be investigated before any commitment to a school is made. In addition, scholarships are available depending on the school. It is important to check with the financial aid staff at the particular school or program to determine the guidelines and requirements to obtain such funds.
Certified Nursing Assistants will typically train for 6 weeks. In this time, they will learn about many topics affecting their patients. Making patients comfortable while preserving their dignity is a primary focus. In addition, another important skill taught in these programs is how to keep patients and the Certified Nursing Assistants safe from infectious diseases. Courses taught have a biological science base including information on anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and allied health sciences. In addition, Certified Nursing Assistants often help patients who cannot physically do the activities required of daily living. Training therefore focuses on how to lift patients, bathe patients, and help patients eliminate wastes.
It is important that Certified Nursing Assistants have a warm bedside manner, a strict attention to detail, and good communication skills. They work closely with Registered Nurses to assure the health and well being of their patients. If an individual has multiple language proficiencies this can be helpful in finding a job because they can help more clients with these skills. Overall, Certified Nursing Assistants are needed in the Maryland area and there are many opportunities to train and practice if a person possesses the aforementioned skills.
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