Do you dream of working in a profession where you can help people? If your goal is to enter the medical field, becoming a nursing assistant may be your perfect career choice.
While many have heard about the current physician and nursing shortage, the nursing assistant shortage isn’t as well-known. But it does exist- and that’s where you come in!
By becoming a certified nursing assistant, or CNA, you can help ease the staffing shortage that many medical centres face. And you’ll earn money and perks while doing so. Read on for an overview of the vital work CNAs do so you understand what the job entails.
Take Vital Signs
Nursing assistants work in different settings, in people’s homes, nursing facilities, doctors’ offices, surgery centres, and hospitals. One of the most important things you’ll learn to do is take vital signs: blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and respiration rate.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a hospital team or work in a home care setting. Knowing how to take vital signs is a skill you’ll rely on every time you encounter a patient.
Assist With Feeding, Moving, and Maintaining Hygiene of Patients
In a hospital setting, a nursing assistant‘s many duties take the pressure off of registered nurses or RNs. RNs usually work long hours and carry a lot of responsibility for patient care decisions.
Nursing assistants focus more on helping patients in practical ways, like getting them showered, fed, taken to x-rays, and kept in clean gowns. Taking charge of these matters helps free up the RNs to focus on medication and treatment procedures for the patients.
At-home care has become more popular as the baby boomers have aged. Nursing assistants also frequently visit patients and their families at home. They assist with the same things, like personal care and monitoring patient vital signs. They communicate with their agency and the patient’s doctor, so the patient gets the best care from everyone on the team.
Nursing Home Care
Nursing assistants also work in nursing homes which are very similar to hospitals, but there may be fewer RNs on staff. The CNAs may do most of the work in nursing homes, along with geriatric-specialty social workers and other staff.
Career Pathways for a Nursing Assistant
A nursing assistant is a critically important healthcare worker that the average nursing team couldn’t survive without. There’s a constant need to fill this role and opportunities to advance.
If you’re considering becoming a registered nurse, working for a while as a nursing assistant is an excellent foot in the door. It’s a way to see what the work environment is like while receiving a paycheck and benefits, and sometimes tuition reimbursement.
Some hospitals and nursing facilities may pay you to continue your nursing education, so be sure to check into your career options! Try and get an ACLS certification that could help you stand out from other candidates for some jobs, as well as improve your knowledge. You can easily get it or renew it online. You can also find CNA-to-RN programs at many nursing schools to get credit for what you already know.
Become a Certified Nursing Assistant in a Few Months
To become a nursing assistant, you’ll need to study for the Certified Nursing Assistant Exam. Depending on the program you choose, you could graduate and pass the exam in months. Most programs take a few months to one year to complete, so you’ll be able to start your healthcare career relatively soon!
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