A certified nurse’s aide, also known as a CNA or certified nurse assistant, has a very rewarding job with a variety of responsibilities and duties. The projected numbers for nurses aides will continue to grow due to high turnover rates and the increasing elderly population. Not only is the industry in high demand but those who have family responsibilities or require awkward work hours can be happy to know that there is part time work on weekends and in the evening hours. Many of the patients and home health aide facilities prefer to have workers during these hours. It is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys working directly with patients and finds satisfaction in helping others.
Nurses Aide Duties
Under the supervision of nurses or other healthcare professionals, a certified nurses aide assists in direct patient care. The CNA may be responsible for personal care of patients, which includes feeding, bathing, grooming, dressing, supplying and emptying bed pans, or assistance in the restroom, and helping to move or reposition patients as needed. There are other duties related to medication and treatments such as catheterizations, suppositories, irrigations, enemas, specimen collection, and observing and recording patient conditions including vital signs and food intake and output. The CNA may also be responsible for keeping the patient’s environment clean and safe. This includes changing linens, collecting food trays, and cleaning rooms as needed. Other duties may include ensuring that supplies are well stocked and inventory is up to date.
Certified Nurses Aide Training
Certified nurses aide training is relatively short and easy compared with that of nurses and other healthcare professionals. The average length of training is only about 6-12 weeks. Certification varies from state to state, but most states require an exam before receiving certification. Most certified nurses aide training takes place at a community college or medical facility and will include both hands-on and instructional classes in basic nursing, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, CPR, medical billing terminology, patient and hospital communications, and infection and disease control. Keeping CNA certification current also requires continuing education. Most certified nurses aide training programs only require a high school diploma or GED but some may also require criminal background checks and previous work experience related to the field. There are many nursing degree programs to choose from, with even online courses, as well. The cost of certified nurses aide training varies greatly depending on the area and the program chosen, but the average program costs $300 to $600. However, some states offer free certified nurses aide training.
The average pay for an entry level CNA is anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 a year, with the top paying certified nurses aides averaging about $35,000. With additional continuing education, a nurses aide can move on to other positions such as a registered nurse or working in a senior center nursing home. Many of the skills that a nurse aide requires will come in handy. You will have an edge over others who are unfamiliar when dealing with patients. Certified nurses aides can expect to work in settings such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, assisted living communities, mental health facilities, and in private homes. The demand for certified nurses aides is high and continues to grow in this aging and bad economy. With the increasing need for long-term care the career outlook is excellent.