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A Career as a Certified Nursing Assistant

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A certified assistant nurse takes care of and assists patients with performing day to day activities under the supervision of a registered nurse. A nurse takes care of a patient's health needs, safety and comfort and ensures proper and required assistance is provided. He or she has to assist patients with many of his or her personal needs like eating, bathing, dressing or undressing etc. A nurse has to provide physical as well as mental support to her patients. Nurses must provide a healthy social and psychological environment to all patients. The qualified health care provide should be physically fit and mentally calm as responsibilities are tough with having to stand for long hours. Nurses also need to bend, lift or twist the patient when a situation demands. An assistant nurse must give regular health reports on the patient to the supervising nurse. Nurses also need to take guidance from other physicians.

Your Role as a Nursing Assistant
  • Monitoring patients' temperature, pulse, respiration and blood pressure
  • Performing routine diabetic testing
  • Keeping a record of patients' weight
  • Helping patients to do daily exercises
  • Collecting urine and sputum specimens
  • Preparing and giving enemas
  • Preparing patient for meals like helping patients wash their hands
  • Helping patients' with bathroom trips
  • Changing clothing if they become wet or soiled
  • Helping with nail care, shaving and hair care
  • Helping in bathing functions
Nursing Assistant Qualifications

To work as an assistant nurse one needs to earn a diploma and certification from an accredited nursing assistant program. A person must be cooperative and humble to all patients. A nurse must report each and every change in a patient's health to a registered nurse or manager.

A certified nurse assistant works under the supervision of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), or a Registered Nurse (RN) in hospitals, nursing homes, community centers, sanatoriums or at a patient's homes. A nurse has a shift of 4-5 hrs with 2 breaks, thus can also work double shifts or can work a second job elsewhere. A nurse has to work 6 days a week but she should have the potential to work overtime or work on holiday if needed.

Skills Required

In order to become an assistant nurse, education qualifications and experience should meet the job requirements. Normally a certificate is a must to work in this position. The following additional qualities are necessary to work on this post:
  • A nurse should always be friendly and humble
  • A person who wishes to become a nurse must be able to communicate effectively and appropriately with the patients and their families or other staff members.
  • Nurses should have a positive attitude towards patients especially children and elderly people.
  • Excellent English reading and writing skills are required.
  • Work must be managed properly without experiencing a high level of stress.
  • As an assistant nurse must take care of the patient, therefore she needs to be healthy first. She must not suffer from any allergy problems or severe disease.

An assistant nurse must attain service training and should actively participate in performance improvement seminars given by medical professionals. Training is essential before practicing because it teaches basic and practical knowledge of nursing skills, anatomy and physiology, nutrition checks, and infection control etc. Nurses should also visit CNA programs or any medical camp which is held at any reputable medical college to have a beneficial learning experience. A person who would like to become a nurse should learn how to treat patients, visitors and patients' family members. Good nurses support their seniors in orientation programs and training.

Experience and Salary

To receive a certified nursing assistant certificate you need to have a minimum of 6-12 weeks of experience.

A certified nurse assistant can easily earn from $9.50 to $12 per hour.

A nurse at an initial stage can earn a decent salary of $19,925 to $29,764 annually. If a nurse is well skilled or experienced then she can earn around $35,377 annually. There are certain factors taken into consideration when allotting salaries like years of experience, place of employment, performance, amount of overtime, etc.

Certified nursing assistants can be also called as nurses' aides, patient care technicians, and home health aides. A nurse has to take care of the daily activities of the patient like bathing, grooming and feeding with medical equipment. Being a nurse, you can give social as well as emotional support to the patients. A career as a certified nurse assistant is a good option with many advancement opportunities.
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