Nursing and nursing assistant careers are plentiful in the United States and offer exciting opportunities for those who have a passion to help other people in times of physical need. The certified nursing assistant (CNA) is one of many such jobs in this field. But in order to be a CNA one must go through proper training and receive certification.
Brief Job Description of the CNA
A CNA assists the nursing and Physician staffs at hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies in conducting routine medical checks and performing tasks such as feeding and bathing. CNA may also setup medical equipment and monitor overall patient well-being. CNAs always operate under the direct supervision of the nurses and doctors employed by the facility where they work.
Due to shortage of registered nurses around the country, the demand for CNAs continues to be high in most metropolitan areas. In addition, CNAs who decide to further their education and move into the field of registered nursing often find the transition to be easier than those who go directly into an RN program. If you are considering a career in nursing, starting out as a CNA is a good way option.
The Certification Process
The certification process for CNAs differs from state to state according to their various regulations. As a general rule however, you can expect certification classes to require between 150 and 200 credit hours of training over a period of four to six months. It is important to understand that your basic training will provide certification for work only in the most basic of environments. The CNA who wishes to move into more specialized or intense work environments will need additional training and certification.
Regardless of state regulations, there will be some common things that all CNA training courses deal with including:
• Basics of nursing
• Medical terms and definitions
• Basics of pharmacology
• Medical assistant procedures
• Occupational outlook
As with any medical career, state regulations require CNAs to continue their education and update their certification at regular intervals. Though each state is different, two years is an average time frame for certification renewal. Some employers will provide ongoing education and certification free of charge, while in other cases the CNA will be required to find and pay for his own training and certification.
A CNA Career is not for Everyone
Although a career as a CNA is both financially and emotionally rewarding, it is not a career for everyone. The job comes with a lot of mental stress, physical labor, and emotional trials. Those who are considering a career as a CNA should be sure this is the right career for them before investing time and money in CNA certification. Talk to all other professionals in the field as well as family and friends who might have experience in this area.
The medical industry has experienced difficulty over last five to eight years in hiring and retaining quality CNAs. One of the reasons behind this is the tendency of new CNAs to leave the profession within a short time of starting. If the CNA career is right for you, you'll be a great asset to whatever facility hires you. Otherwise, seeking a different career direction maybe a better option.
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