CNA Jobs – Do You Have The Passion?

Despite today’s tough economy, the healthcare industry is thriving. Not only is the field one of the fastest growing in the nation, but it’s also projected to create over 3 million new jobs in the United States by 2016. Among the most popular positions in the healthcare industry is that of a CNA – a Certified Nursing Assistant. Whether providing prompt treatment to a hospital guest or assisting an elderly patient in their home, CNAs play an important role in patient care. Here’s what you’ll need to know about becoming and working as a CNA.

What is a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who provides care to patients under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). CNA positions are commonly available in hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities and home care organizations, among others. Depending on the type of institution they work in, a CNA may be the employee who interacts with a patient most frequently.

What does a CNA do?
Though their exact duties will vary depending on the institution they are employed with, all CNAs are responsible for fulfilling the most basic needs of their patients. CNAs interact with their patients daily and often act as a correspondent between the patients and RNs, providing the nurses with updates on a patient’s vital information. CNAs may also be responsible for:

Documenting a patient’s behavior or symptoms.
Cleaning a patient’s room or bathroom, or preparing an examination room for a patient.
Applying clean dressings or bandages, and administering medication or treatment.
Assisting patients during their daily hygiene regimen, from helping a patient brush their teeth to assisting them with showering or bathing.
Making sure patients eat enough food, or feeding a patient if necessary.

How do I become a CNA?
The first step to becoming a CNA is to complete a training course. Training for this type of position can take anywhere from three to eight weeks, and is offered at a variety of institutions, including community colleges, nursing homes and the Red Cross.

After completing a CNA training course, you’ll need to become licensed to work as a CNA in your state. To do this, you must take and pass a competency exam provided by the state — your course instructor can assist you in scheduling this exam. The test will assess both your knowledge and the practical skills you were taught during training, and consists of both a written and clinical portion.

After becoming and working as a CNA, many choose to continue their training and become a Registered Nurse. Because of this, the turnover rate for CNA positions is high, and so is the demand for them. With a small amount of training and a large amount of passion, a position as a CNA can be the beginning of your rewarding career in the healthcare industry.