CNA or Certified Nurses Assistants are people that help nurses with taking vital signs in patients, or even helping with medical equipment. The thing about being a CNA is that you are working hands on with patients providing their vital signs, doing bedpan duties, answering to a patients call when a button is pressed for help, and so much more.
How do you become a CNA?
First you have to take classes. There are classes online and classes in person. Usually the classes are taken in a classroom setting at a college or even in a nearby medical facility. You must have a GED or high school diploma in order to take the classes. The classes usually take anywhere from 6-12 weeks. The good thing about taking CNA classes is that you can work at your own pace. The classes are usually held in the morning, in the evening and on weekends. So this makes it easier for you to pencil it into your crazy schedule. Places for training:- Online- Community College- The American Red Cross-Nursing homes or Long Term Care facilitiesYou will learn about a variety of different topics or courses during training. Topics you will learn about include:- Basic Nursing Skills- Infection Control- Proper Body Mechanics- Nutrition- Basic Anatomy and PhysiologyThese courses are taught by a registered nurse (RN) or by Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). Your required a minimum of 75 hours of clinical training (Clinical Externship). By the end of these courses you will have a lot of good knowledge and skills that a CNA provides.
Skills you achieve:
– Taking vital signs (heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure)
– Printing out the vitals signs (Computer involvement) to chart them properly.
– Bedpan duties (learn to properly place bedpan, change diapers if needed and empty catheters)
– Good Communication (bedside manners) both verbal and non-verbal
During the training you have to be patient, have a good attitude and need to be able to listen well. Your patients rely on you for a lot of things. If there is a call up to the nurses desk (hospital or nursing home setting) you are usually the one to go check on the patient. With that being said you should always be ready for anything. There could be a problem such as shortness of breathe or something as simple as needing help to the bathroom or getting changed. Whatever their need may be, you should be ready and willing to help. Being a CNA to some, sounds like a piece of cake, but until you are a CNA and working hard for what you earn, then you can’t say it’s just a job. It’s a job that consists of time, love and care for your patients and if you don’t have time, love, or care for your patients, then this isn’t the job for you. Be sure your heart is in it.
Once you are a CNA and have all of the certificates to prove it, you can then begin to look for a job. CNA work is usually in HIGH DEMAND and you can usually find a job just about anywhere. Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Doctors Offices and many more.
Choosing Job Setting:
– Do you want to work in a very busy environment like the hospital?
– Do you want to work in a more laid back environment like the nursing home?
– Can you handle working with patients that are elderly and could possibly pass away?
– Should you work in a setting with children like a pediatric office?
These are all things you should consider when looking for the right place for you to work. Once you find the kind of setting you are most comfortable with, fill out some applications and do a few interviews. I’m sure someone will be glad to hire you. But again, remember that you MUST have good bedside manners and should be able to have patients when doing this job. Don’t just take some courses and get it over with, then look for a job and say that you are a CNA. You should want to be a CNA and have a passion for helping those in need. Don’t do it just to get a paycheck. You won’t be happy in that environment!