All About Certified Nurse Assistant Career

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs), or sometimes termed as nursing aides, are entry-level health professional whose main function is to provide essential care to patients. In the United States, CNAs need only a short training course and a certification exam in order to start working as a CNA. What's more is that the career opportunities for CNAs come with a generous amount and a promising prospect.

Responsibilities of a CNA

CNAs, as the name suggests, need to be certified and registered in their state board of nursing's registry to become legally employed as a certified nursing assistant. CNAs work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or, in some states, of a licensed practical nurse.

The short training program for CNAs encompasses the fundamental knowledge and skills expected of a nursing assistant. Hence, the CNAs responsibilities come in a limited scope. To wit, here are a few examples of a CNA's responsibilities:

  1. Observing and monitoring the patient's condition (that is, his vital signs)
  2. Providing hygienic care to patients (e.g., bed bath, shaving, oral care, nail care, etc.)
  3. Feeding patient
  4. Monitoring patient's fluid intake and output
  5. Bed-making and tidying up patient's environment
  6. Turning bed-ridden patients to side
  7. Emptying catheter bags
  8. Cleaning tracheotomy sites
  9. Providing therapeutic communication
  10. Assisting the registered nurse

It is important to note that due to a CNA's limited training, CNAs cannot take in the responsibilities of a nurse. Registered nurses can, however, delegate a selected number of her work to a CNA. Tasks such as documenting nurse's notes, administering medications, and assessing the patient are beyond a CNA's scope of responsibilities.

Career Opportunities for CNAs

CNAs have a plethora of job opportunities in an equally numerous settings. Due to the recent advancement in technology, medical care are not limited to the confines of a hospital. Now, medical care can be carried out in outpatient settings, and nursing assistants are needed in such places.

To give you a gist of the possible places that you can work as a certified nursing assistant, we have listed below examples of work settings that may have job opportunities for CNAs:

  1. Tertiary, secondary, and primary hospitals
  2. Physician's outpatient clinic
  3. Rehabilitation centers
  4. Nursing homes
  5. Private residences
  6. Military hospitals
  7. Public schools
  8. Universities
  9. Government public health agencies / community nursing settings
  10. Hospice care institutions

How to Make the Most of Your CNA Career

Being a CNA is a good starting point for your nursing career since it gives you an excellent idea of the health care profession. It is highly encouraged that you, as a CNA, advance your career by taking accelerated courses such as CNA to LPN, CNA to RN, and the like. This aids you not only in advancing your career status but also to increase your salary and job opportunities.

To sum it all up, CNAs have a lot of career opportunities in store in a variety of work settings. And you can better your opportunities by taking advanced courses that you can take while being employed as a CNA.

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