Certified nursing assistants play a vital role in patient care, ensuring that even the smallest tasks are completed to help every patient get the help he or she needs as quickly as possible.
As a certified nursing assistant, or CNA, your role in a medical facility will be to serve in a “first responder” type of role. Your tasks could include things like recording vital signs, taking patient history notes, assisting with personal hygiene tasks, feeding patients, running errands for nurses, checking medical equipment to ensure it is working properly, cleaning patient rooms, and providing companionship. It is also your job to alert a doctor or nurse if a patient needs immediate attention.
Salary and Career Options
According to reports, certified nursing assistants make an average salary of between $24,729 and $29,887 annually, depending on where you work. You will also earn more money if you are experienced in the field or go through additional training classes. Becoming a certified nursing assistant is a great stepping stone for becoming an LPN or RN.
Training as a certified nursing assistant only takes six to twelve weeks, depending no your program of choice, making it one of the fastest ways to begin working in the nursing field. You’ll also receive hands-on training from your employer, as every facility is different. Some of the classes you’ll take include learning nursing assistant skills like triage, emergency first aid, CPR, nutrition, anatomy, and basic nursing skills. Once you go through these classes, you can take the certification exam, which is typically administered by your school in conjunction with the National Association for Home Care. Certification requirements vary from state to state, and you may have to take classes annually to remain certified as a nursing assistant.
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