CNAs are on the front lines for providing basic care to patients in a variety of health care facilities, with responsibilities ranging from assisting with personal daily needs such as bathing and exercising to monitoring vital signs and dietary restrictions. All job requirements tend to be non-invasive procedures and revolve around daily routines that patients may not be able to complete on their own. Working under the supervision of licensed nurses, CNAs provide personal, professional assistance, ensuring patients are treated with dignity and respect and while receiving necessary medical care.
In addition to being able to provide day-to-day care to their patients, CNAs must be compassionate communicators who can support their patients through difficult and sometimes painful procedures. Because they provide many basic care services such as bathing patients and helping them transfer to wheelchairs, they must also have a certain level of physical fitness. CNAs are expected to be team players, serving as liaisons between other medical professionals and their patients. This often involves recording and conveying important information concerning the condition of those in their care. CNAs are found in nearly every health care field, serving in locations such as long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and hospices.
The program is a mix of classroom and clinical learning, including development of the CNA skills. Topics include nursing fundamentals, infection control protocol, anatomy, and nutrition. We will focus on practical skills that quickly prepare students to enter the job market as competitive and competent candidates in the healthcare industry. In addition to fundamental nursing skills; we provided an overview of health topics with focus on the spectrum of nursing services. We integrate sound practical care skills so our students learn to communicate compassionately and professionally, and to work as part of a team. During the clinical portion, facilities deliver a fast-paced environment for training where students begin working with patients quickly. A number of facilities provide real-world training experiences immediately where the emphasis on communication skills and the art of caregiving; procedural skills covered include vital signs, positioning, bathing, and dressing.
The best CNAs have a natural desire to help people as well as have highly developed skills in areas of patient care and communication. In addition to assisting patients with daily living activities, CNAs must be able to make those in their care feel safe and comfortable during their time at the facility. CNAs should know their patients’ needs thoroughly, including dietary restrictions, allergies, and personal preferences. They must also be able to listen to their patients and convey important information about their needs and feelings to other members of the care team, such as licensed nurses, dietitians and physicians.
After completing their training, CNAs may choose to pursue further credentials that allow them to specialize their work. Individual state councils or subject-specific organizations, such as the National Council of State Boards of Nursing or the American Board of Wound Management, typically provide these additional credentials. Available specializations include opportunities to become activity assistants, medication aides, wound care associates, and patient care technicians. Continuing education could also lead to certifications as physical therapy assistants, occupational therapy assistants, and even degrees as registered nurses.
Opportunities for Advancement
LPNs often supervise CNAs and work directly under registered nurses and physicians. While some of their tasks overlap with CNAs, they are able to provide higher, more specialized levels of care. The process of becoming an LPN involves undertaking further education in the form of a certificate, diploma, or associate degree, all of which can be completed within nine to 24 months. Graduates must then pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses to be licensed. Professionals in this career may choose to specialize by undertaking further qualifications.
Professionals in this field have a wealth of opportunities for taking on meaningful work and advancing their careers. Degrees exist at levels ranging from associate to postgraduate and offer varied prospects. CNA professionals looking to transition into an RN role can undertake an associate degree, which can be completed in two years of full-time study. Should they choose to complete further education at a later date, there are many accelerated bridge programs for obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Graduates will need to undertake the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses before they begin working.
Should a student consider specializing after obtaining their RN licensure, neonatal nursing provides a career where professional caregivers can make a difference and earn competitive salaries. After completing either an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing, students can gain experience in pediatrics and neonatal care. Many NICUs offer internships or on-the-job training programs to help students learn about the specific skills needed for this area of nursing. Students can also complete a certificate in pediatric nursing to be more competitive for positions.