Certify Nursing Assitant
A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, helps patients with activities of daily living
and other healthcare needs under the direct supervision of a Registered Nurse
(RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). CNA’s are also commonly referred to as
a Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Assistant (PCA), or a Nurse’s Aid.
A certified nursing assistant (CNA) provides varying levels of care and support to physically and/or mentally disabled individuals who are unable to care for themselves. CNAs care for patients of all ages in hospitals, inpatient mental health facilities, and clinics. Some certified nurse assistants are employed by a patient’s family and make in-home visits, where they physically care for the patient and provide companionship. Many CNAs are employed at nursing homes and assisted living facilities for the elderly
HOW IS A CNA DIFFERENT FROM A MEDICAL ASSISTANT (MA) OR A LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE (LPN)?
Unlike a medical assistant or a licensed practical nurse, a CNA specializes in providing direct patient care, often in a long-term care setting. Medical assistants often provide administrative and clinical support within a physician’s office or hospital, assisting doctors by taking patient histories and measuring vital signs; some of these workers may specialize as administrative medical assistants or clinical medical assistants.
LPNs support doctors and registered nurses by caring for patients and monitoring treatments. Under the direction of a physician or registered nurse, LPNs may check vital signs, provide basic patient care, and communicate with patients about their treatment. In contrast, CNAs spend most of their time providing basic care for patients, often in a nursing home, hospice setting, or other long-term care environment.
The educational and licensure requirements for CNAs also differ from LPNs or MAs. A licenced practical nurse must complete a state licensing process to practice, which requires an examination. LPNs must hold a diploma or degree with coursework in nursing to earn their license, while CNAs only need to obtain certification to practice. Certified nursing assistant training varies by state; however, CNA students typically complete fewer classroom instruction and clinical hours than aspiring LPNs.
Those employed at nursing home facilities typically reposition bedridden patients, feed patients, attend to patients’ hygienic needs, and administer medication. A CNA making house visits may provide companionship for elderly patients. The place of employment influences a CNA’s salary and job responsibilities.
Jobs are typically full time, although some aides have part-time schedules. Patient schedules often require work on weekends, evenings, and holidays. Overnight shifts and live-in shifts are not uncommon.
- Assist with patient intake
- Preparation of equipment
- Preparing hot and cold packs
- Transporting patients
- Observing patients
- Documenting patients’ responses and progress
- Liaise with physicians’ offices and hospital personnel