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Certified Nursing Assistant - A Closer Look

Certified Nursing Assistant - A Closer Look

Dave Cahill

When most people hear the term “Certified Nursing Assistant” (better known as CNA), the first thing that comes to mind is a career in a nursing home. While it’s true that this is probably the industry’s biggest demand for CNAs, there are other places to use this certification. But what exactly is a CNA, and how can it work for you?

The Certified Nursing Assistant is a person who aids in the daily care of those needing nursing care. Think there’s nothing to the job? Think again.

One of the first things many nurses say they learned is that nursing isn’t about dispensing medicines, giving shots or even taking orders from the doctor. It’s all about learning to listen to your patients. The CNA training takes that to a very basic level and the job of the CNA is often vital to the effective medical treatment of other health care professionals. For example, the CNA who spends the most time with a nursing home patient may be the first to notice a change in that person’s attitude that reflects a serious medical condition or a reaction to a change in their drug regimen. And while some people are simply observant enough to notice those kinds of things, learning what to do with the information is a vital part of the training for the Certified Nursing Assistant.

But is there anything else you can do with CNA training other than work in a nursing home? CNAs are also commonly called on for home visitation. Typically, these are older people or those with disabilities who have trouble performing routine daily tasks. The CNA may help the person get a bath or handle other chores. Think it’s not that important. Consider it from the view of the person receiving the help. Without the services of that CNA, that person would likely be moved to a nursing home, rehabilitation facility or be forced to live with relatives – devastating for some people.

Some daycares and schools also employ CNAs to help handle minor health issues at school. While these CNAs don’t dispense medication or do any of those jobs handled by a nurse, they do use their training to help children with health issues and help the school deflect problems before they become serious issues. A CNA for a school will quickly learn to spot infections and to help curb the spread of problems such as ringworm.

CNAs may also work in rehabilitation programs or similar facilities. While licensed professionals will do therapy, the CNAs often have more time to devote to patients, meaning they develop relationships and become an integral part of the recovery process.

If you’ve considered a job in health care – especially in nursing – the CNA could be just what you need. You can work in the industry while you’re working on your degree in nursing as an LPN or RN. On the other hand, you may very well find that a Certified Nursing Degree isn’t a stepping stone to some other career, but is a rewarding career in itself.

If the allure of a nursing career appeals to you, check out the links below.


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  • Blue_sky_max50

    naph24

    over 5 years ago

    6 comments

    How do get employed if you have no experience, fresh out of CNA school ?

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    mandyrivet

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    I have been a CNA for just over 20 years and have enjoyed every bit of it . Yes the work can be hard but the rewards and the satisfaction out weighs everything , also as a CNA you can work in some hospitals on some of the various units I myself have worked on Med/Surg, ER, IMC, CVIMC and Psyc, , each one brings a unique and sometimes challenging situation , but it is great and I do learn quite a lot from the nurses that I have been at times blessed to work with . If you have any acute care skills you can try to work in a hospital or for an agency which there are several that you can go to , I myself work for two different agencies one as a caregiver/med tech (private duty) and the other as on call for any extra shifts . I have been asked on many occasions why I don't get my RN's but I just enjoy what I do and the fact that I do get to be in more contact with my patients on a personal basis . Your article is great and it is too the point THANK YOU !!!!!!

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    hallmark71

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I just completed a Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program. I really enjoyed it, after I have spent the last 15 years working on a manufactoring floor. Some of my time work in maintenance, so this was a huge change of work for me. Now I am awaiting to take my state exam then get into a LPN class, then who knows.

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    lilrammer09

    almost 6 years ago

    4 comments

    a cna is the same thing as an stna, i found a community college that offers this course, and it only lasts a month!!!

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    DUKE2008

    almost 6 years ago

    34 comments

    I WAS THINKING ABOUT TAKING THE TEST FOR CNA WHILE I TRY TO GET INTO THE LPN OR RN PROGRAM. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE CNA PROGRAM?

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    whyme

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I have be looking for a cna jobs in florida

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    vickiemclawhorn

    about 6 years ago

    6 comments

    Looking to find out if the Cna's certificate is transferable to another state I am orginally from North Carolina looking to work as a Cna in Alabama help?

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    LuciMarie

    about 6 years ago

    82 comments

    I completely agree with the statement "CNA's are underpaid" Obviously they too have a great amount of responsibility in the healthcare world.

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    Account Removed

    about 6 years ago

    CNA's are really underpaid!!!

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    larkind

    about 6 years ago

    4 comments

    Do any one know about free CNA classes in the milwaukee area. I am A freshman in nursing school and I will like to do CNA work thru college and every class i have encounterd was about a thousand dollars can some one help

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    kcgnatl

    about 6 years ago

    4 comments

    I've worked as a CNA & it was literally hard work, but it made me feel good about helping someone else. I think most CNA's are underpaid for the work that is expected.

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    froggin4

    about 6 years ago

    2 comments

    In the nursing prog. i am lookin into they make u get your cna and they also require that if u dont start program in 18 mths u have to have 750 hours of cna seriously thinking about doing that

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    CLASSYKAREN

    about 6 years ago

    40 comments

    Thank you for this article

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    tiffannij

    about 6 years ago

    194 comments

    I don't know. I was thinking about CNA and they work a lot for not that much money. I was going to do that first and then move on to the LPN.

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    mixedlady

    about 6 years ago

    12 comments

    This really helped alot thanks.

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