Dave Evangelisti Authored By: Dave Evangelisti

CNA is a term that stands for certified nursing assistant in the United States. These trained assistants perform daily patient care duties under the direction of licensed or Registered Nurses. The CNA is a first line care provider and often is employed in nursing homes though in some states the CNA may also be employed in hospitals and CNA requirements may vary with the employing institution.



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Each state has various courses and requirements however a certified nursing assistant requires training and then must pass an examination. Every CNA will have to have had formalized training which may last as little as 6 weeks or as long as 6 months. Once the training courses have been successfully completed, the assistant must pass a pass a skills examination before they can become a CNA.

The CNA examination consists of a written examination followed by a clinical exam where the nursing assistant demonstrates the daily care skills learned in class. The clinical portion may be performed upon a dummy but the strict protocols learned in class must be followed. Upon successful completion of the examination, the state issues a certification card which allows the individual to be employed as a CNA. Prepare for your CNA exam with our free CNA practice tests.

The training courses and methods may vary slightly from state to state but the certification procedure is the same. The nursing shortage in the nation is critical and the CNA is subsequently overburdened due to this. However, on the bright side the shortage and high turnover in the profession also guarantee the committed professional a job.

Daily care tasks might include bathing and turning bed bound individuals. Delivering meal trays and feeding patients may be part of the CNA job duties. Monitoring food trays and documenting a change in intake. The exception here might be for those persons on a strict intake and output regimen; in that case, a licensed nurse might be required to document the intake. Changing beds and in some states taking vital signs may be part of the duties of a certified nurse assistant.

The certified nurse aide or assistant must be in good health and have a strong back. They will be moving and turning patients who are unable to do so on their own. They will also be changing beds and bathing patients who are unable to leave their beds. The ability to stand for long periods is necessary.

A CNA will also need to be able to communicate in English fluently as well as be able to write. The job of a nursing assistant is challenging but can be very rewarding. The skills required for this job include the ability to empathize with the ill or elderly patient.


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