How Do I Become a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)? - Video

Among the important professionals employed in the medical industry are nurse assistants. In high demand throughout the country, these health professionals assist nurses and other medical staff in overseeing the health of patients in hospitals, assisted living centers, private homes and other care settings. Certified Nurse Assistant programs can prepare students for these rewarding careers.

Education

Nurse assistants are important members of medical teams in hospitals, clinics, hospices and other health care settings. Those interested in becoming a nurse assistant must complete education requirements determined by the state in which they would like to work. While specific guidelines can vary between areas, Certified Nurse Assistant programs typically consist of six to twelve weeks of education in a community college or technical school. In these settings, students learn how to help patients with daily activities related to bathing, grooming and feeding. Instruction in these areas is complemented by knowledge in other crucial aspects of bedside care. For example, students learn procedures for containing infection, monitoring vital signs, and aiding patients in emergency situations. This training is in addition to preliminary study of the human body and its systems--including anatomy, physiology and nutrition.

Training and Certification

In addition to classroom experience, nurse assistants must complete supervised training in a working medical facility. This stint of training allows individuals to build skills they'll need in healthcare settings. It can also help students adjust to pace and potential stresses of the work. After the requisite training hours are met, students can sit for a state certification exam that will allow them to be nurse assistants. A yearly professional development commitment is often required for nurse assistants to be re-certified. This may be geared toward familiarizing professionals with advances in medical equipment or treatment methods.

Work Environment

Nurse assistants care for patients in hospitals, assisted living centers, private homes and other care environments. In clinical settings, these healthcare professionals support nurses and other medical staff in monitoring and treating patients who are sick or injured. In hospice, home and other long-term care facilities, nurse assistants generally help patients with daily activities that are difficult for them to perform on their own. These professionals also have an important role in individuals' social and emotional wellbeing. They must be able to communicate well with patients while demonstrating care for them. Additionally, it's important that nurse assistants exhibit patience with those who may be confrontational or abusive.

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