With the growth in the nursing field one would expect to find a CNA job with relative ease, but sometimes an oversupply of choice can present its own problems. The Bureau of Statistics has projected only further growth for Nursing since there’s been an increase in retirees as well as an increase in the amount of people in need for special care. Thus Nursing will continue to provide good opportunity for employment for some time to come (at least it’s safe to say for the next decade or so). Indicative of this trend is the fact that universities and colleges are recording full classes for their Nursing programs, as well as the ever more popular online courses.
Over the years, nursing has expanded just as the medical fraternity has, in that the varying types of nurses these days just about equal that of the varying types of doctors around in their specializing fields. These days there are nurses for every medical field, just about, and students can choose to specialize at a very early stage in the career as it may come as a more lucrative option (albeit with its own unique challenges), as the more rare the field (and specialized the qualification) the higher the earnings will be.
Examples of the variety in the Nursing field are: Clinical Nurse Specialists (nurses who work more with nursing staff than patients), Nurse Practitioner (often specializes in certain areas such as Gerontology and Paediatrics), Neonatal Nurse (they care for ill or premature infants), Psychiatric Nurse and the Orthopaedic Nurse (they mostly work with Arthritic sufferers and diabetics). Of course you then have your more familiar Registered Nurses, LPN’s and CNA’s which you may find in hospitals or general health care facilities.
For Nursing Aids though, their expertise remains within a set parameter and do not expand beyond it, with their primary concern being that of the patient and everything pertaining to their specific needs from a purely primary care giving perspective, providing comfort and assistance.
The Duties Of A Certified Nursing Assistant
To distinguish Certified Nursing Assistant’s from all other Registered Nurses, specialized or otherwise, here is a summarized list of duties they’re typically tasked with performing.
- Monitoring patients and recording any changes.
- Ensuring that all changes or developments are reported to their supervising nurse.
- Infection control – maintaining good personal hygiene as well as maintaining patient hygiene, including bathing residents and ensuring that things like hair and nail care as well as brushing the patients teeth are seen to.
- Monitoring and emptying catheter bags.
- Assisting patients with toilet visits – those who cannot do so on their own accord.
- Intermittent checking of vital signs including blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and respiration – as well as specific care with regard to patients who need constant monitoring (usually post operations).
- Recording food and fluid intake as well as feeding the residents and ensuring that water is always available.
- Maintaining a clean and sanitized working environment (falling under infection control as well).
- Ensuring that beds are clean and dry.
- Assisting patients by transporting or escorting them to the appropriate department for treatment or testing.
- Administering some prescribed medication (under a supervisors guidance) and nutritional supplements.
- Assisting incapacitated patients by turning them to prevent bedsores as well as providing necessary massages or therapy to patients who’ve temporarily lost movement – it ensures that there’s a necessary blood flow to certain extremities to aid in the healing process.
So for prospective, certified nursing assistant jobs can be sought at any facility requiring basic nursing under the appropriate and applicable supervision (usually by an RN or LPN). The CNA training program typically takes from six to twelve weeks to complete and includes subjects like Anatomy, First Aid, Sanitation and Primary patient care. Newly Certified Nurse Assistants can expect competency tests and/or “updates” every few years to maintain a certain standard of service and to even improve on it.
Typical shifts last around seven and a half hours with either an hour long break or a divided thirty minute and two fifteen minute breaks. They get paid by the hour and an entry level CNA can expect a starting wage of about ten dollars an hour (depending on their location and employment facility).
Qualified certified Nursing Aids are very much in demand, and according to the National Bureau of Statistics, that demand will only increase in the next few years. Needless to say though, there’s plenty of availability of certified nursing assistant jobs within the nursing sector as a whole.
Regions Of Employment
Since the role of a certified Nurse Aid is not a specialized one, CNA’s are thus employable at just about every facility which requires nursing care. In any classifieds or online searches you’ll find plenty of companies in need of qualified CNA’s. Usually though, the governing factor motivating people to become Nurse Assistants are personal reasons (though that is changing). Some people are spurned on by the need to take care of a loved one and looking to provide special care, whereas others are looking to climb the ladder of the nursing field with views to greater things. Of course there will always be a limit to what the CNA may be paid, which is another reason to pursue higher education. Location may be another mitigating factor in the search for employment; if a change of state is on the cards then qualified CNA’s should note any change to the nursing regulations (some states do differ from others in this regard – and in extreme cases, Certified Nurse Assistants may be required to complete additional classes or undergo an additional state sanctioned final exam to earn certification in that respective state. Of course governing and hiring bodies are aware of this apparent discrepancy and may be willing to make allowances in particular cases. All these aspects are usually sorted prior to taking the CNA program as students invariably have an inkling as to where they will eventually end up.
Some institutions have a clause in their contract so that those studying under their custodianship or through their official bursary have to then work for the company for a pre-agreed upon period. The downside of this is that you will not have any choices as to your employment and will be tied to a certain company for a set few years, fulfilling a certain bargain. The upside though is that it offers stable job security and that the issue of any job search will be of no concern to you. This means that you’re guaranteed work and by association are guaranteed some invaluable experience.
Requirements For Certified Nursing Assistants
If you’re reading this then you must surely know by now what it takes to be a Certified Nursing Assistant and that the CNA job is not just any service but is essential to the wellbeing of patients. Although all you need to qualify in order to study to be a CNA is a High School diploma or GED equivalency, and that it doesn’t realistically require anyone with prior experience in the health care field, the prerequisites of this job is way more. When you consider what it really takes to conduct yourself in this demanding job, selflessly with compassion and often subservience, it’s obvious that it takes one who possesses something special. Thus, any employer will no doubt have to assess their prospective employee thoroughly to assure themselves that they are the right person for the role.
The Need For Certified Nurses
As mentioned above, the demand for nurses is quite high, but don’t let this statistic fool you into thinking it’s a relatively easy route to acquire money and job security, you have to have what it takes to survive the arena. Seeking and finding employment should not be a problem, but sometimes it’s locating the right fit that is most taxing. CNA’s are typically empathetic and tolerant people (they have to be) but you still need to find an area of employment that suits you, whether that be the rigors of a city hospital or the quieter, though no less demanding, confines of a nursing home/long term care facility or clinic.
Since the government has finally woken to the need of the health care sector and subsequently has vowed to throw more support behind it. There’s been something of a knock on effect in that if the general health of society improves, more people will live longer, but then that leads to an increase in the elderly populace in need of special health care – meaning the greater need for Nurses (Caring for the elderly is the primary area in which CNA’s are required), a problem that’s already on our hands.
Slim respite is that nursing training programs are filling up with a decent amount of competition for placement, which has also increased the popularity of the online programs. The bottom line is that there are thousands of Nursing Assistant job opportunities available within the medical fraternity and healthcare sector.