Certified Nurses Assistants, also known as CNA’s are the heart of nursing. CNA’s work very closely with patients, provide personal care and report pertinent changes in their health status to the registered nurse. There are many instances in health care settings when CNA’s are the first discipline to become aware of a crisis situation and to start emergency actions per institutional protocol. CNA’s work in just about every area of health care and certain positions require additional training to become certified at advanced levels, giving CNA’s an opportunity to earn more money.
Where do CNA’s work:
- Hospitals – CNA’s work in every unit of a hospital providing personal care and reinforcing patient teaching per nursing care plan.
- Nursing Homes employ CNA’s to care for their residents by providing personal care, socialization and assisting registered nurses with certain procedures.
- Home Care – CNA’s provide personal care and household tasks for patients in their home so they can safely stay in their home as long as they can.
- Travel – There are opportunities for CNA’s to work for travel agencies, filling positions for short or long term assignments. These assignments pay more than permanent CNA positions and come with a number of benefits.
- Outpatient Clinics hire CNA’s to take patients’ vital signs and do assist doctors or nurses to perform certain procedures.
Some other duties of a CNA
- Reinforce patient teaching according to the nursing care plan.
- Document all tasks and patient care accordingly.
- Provide education for family members that is within their scope of practice
- Provide a safe environment for patients, family and employees.
- The ability to work as a team to provide care for patients and cover all shifts.
- Have the ability to resolve conflicts and take necessary steps per protocol if a situation gets out of hand.
Outlook for CNA’s
Job projection for CNA’s is expected to grow by 20% faster than other occupations until 2020 for CNA’s, according to the United States Department of Labor.
Opportunity for Career Advancement
Many CNA’s continue their education after working for a while to become a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse. Many hospital will pay for all or a certain percentage of educational expenses for employees who want to advance their career. Experience gained working as a CNA is valuable and produces confidence for CNA’s who go on to become licensed nurses.
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