What is a Certified Nursing Assistant?

Do you have a genuine desire to care for patients in a wide array of medical settings? Are you interested in growing as a healthcare professional? Certified nursing assistants, also referred to as CNAs, work alongside professional nursing and physician staff to provide the utmost quality in patient care. While this is considered an entry-level position, the daily responsibilities and duties it requires span far deeper than simply answering phones and checking patient vital signs.

The Role of a CNA

Although the role of a certified nursing assistant is far different than that of a registered nurse or physician, this career is essential in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of patients. The primary role of a certified nursing assistant is to tend to the quality-of-life requirements of patients. You are responsible for tending to daily duties such as clothing, bathing, feeding and monitoring patients.

Many find the role of a certified nursing assistant quite rewarding as its entire function is to delve into the lives of patients to ensure they’re comfortable and informed throughout their recovery. This intimate involvement is ideal for those with a deep-rooted caregiving personality.

Daily Responsibilities

What’s expected from a certified nursing assistant varies according to the facility you work in. That being noted, most CNAs are responsible for cleaning and maintaining sanitized rooms, administer basic-level medications and procedures such as enemas, massages, suppositories or catheters, as well as cleaning and re-applying wound dressings. All-in-all, the daily duties of a certified nursing assistant is to mitigate discomfort while fostering an atmosphere of healing and calm.

CNA Salary and Job Outlook

Several factors play an intimate role in determining salary amount. Factors such as location and type of facility you work in will either increase or decrease your average take-home amount. Regardless, the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average annual salary of $28,000 per year for CNAs. Mind you, this amount may increase depending on your education and previous experience.

Unlike other industries, the healthcare industry is projected to increase much faster than others. This boom in healthcare jobs is partially due to the aging “baby boomer” generation. Between now and the year 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 21-percent increase in available CNA jobs. This number translates to over 300,000 new positions. If you’re interested in starting a career with genuine job security, then seriously consider joining countless other satisfied professionals in a career as a CNA. See here for more information on how to become CNA certified.

Drawbacks of Online CNA Training

If you’ve spent any time researching CNA careers, then you’ve likely come across advertisements proclaiming the ease and money-saving benefits of receiving your training online. While online certified nursing assistant training programs offer real-world conveniences and cost-effective options, you must be very careful when selecting this type of program. Firstly, it’s essential you double-check that a program is accredited by the nursing board for your state. Secondly, you should consider what some of the drawbacks this mode of learning provides. It’s only after considering the potential negative side of obtaining your CNA training online that you can decide which type of training program is best for you.

Lack of Instructor Presence

Perhaps one of the most obvious drawbacks of undergoing online education is the lack of instructor presence. Although many online CNA training programs feature forums and video discussions with instructors, there is something missing between these communications. Oftentimes, students learn from exchanges between another student and the instructor. In the realm of online learning, this element is dramatically reduced. If you find that independent work is difficult for you, then the lack of supervision during class may prove to be detrimental to your success.

Lack of Physical Learning Modules

It’s vital that you check with your nursing board regarding training requirements as some states demand aspiring CNAs undergo a specific number of clinical training. Clinical application of theoretical practices is essential to seamlessly integrate into a fully-functional medical staff. Some online training programs do not off this mode of training. Not only does the absence of practical training reduce your skills and competency within a medical environment, but it may inhibit your ability to even sit for the certification examination. Therefore, always check to ensure an online CNA training program offers some form of practical, or clinical, training element; even if your state does not require it.

Quality of Education

While this element is up for debate as many proponents of online education proclaim its quality is just as pristine as in-person training, this is a concern you should have while reviewing potential training institutions. The primary reason, outside of qualifying for certification, that you should go with a state-accredited online program is to ensure your education is as current as possible. An outdated education is practically useless within the ever-evolving and rapidly advancing medical industry. Prevent your education from keeping you in the unemployment line by going with an institution acknowledged for its cutting-edge training techniques and solid reputation among the healthcare industry.