There are ample opportunities in the nursing and healthcare sector for individuals who want to pursue a stable career with progressive growth. CNA jobs are one such kind of jobs which give ample scope to grow personally and professionally. There are many CNA positions in healthcare facilities which will give an opportunity to grow in professional life.
Nursing assistants are available in all kinds of health care facilities and play a vital role in all of them. Their role and responsibilities differ to some extent depending on the environment they work in and the position they are posted to.
Responsibilities of Different CNA Positions
The initial step to acquire the position of a certified nursing aide is completion of CNA training and certification, following which you can acquire different CNA positions depending on the health care you choose to work. As a certified nursing aide you may get a job in a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, and personal care facilities.
Patient Care Assistant (PCA) is a nursing assistant position who is also referred to as CNA 2. They perform all the activities of a nursing assistant that includes maintaining the patients hygiene, assisting them in daily tasks, delivering food and medicines from time to time, and helping them to perform exercise. Along with performance of these basic activities, a PCA can also obtain specialization in specific fields of practice that include caring in dementia care, restorative care and short stay facilities. They also get a chance to work with either the occupational therapy or the physical therapy staff.
- Patient Care Technician (PCT) is another position of a certified nursing assistant who is also called as CNA 3. Along with CNA certification, they usually possess a degree of EMT-B (Emergency Medical Technicians – Basic Certification). They work in private settings to provide direct patient care. They also work in surgical centers, physician's private clinic, and hospitals.
- If you are a pediatric CNA working in a pediatric center, your major responsibility is to help the children to adapt to the medical environment so that they co-operate with the treatments provided to them. You should also become friendly with them.
- If you are working in a rehabilitation center or in a mental ward, then your focus should be on helping the patients to recover to a normal and healthy life. The work of the CNA would be to give mental support and keep the patients diverted from the cause of their mental illness or any sort of addiction. You will have to steer them away from the path of trouble, as the mentally challenged individuals may experience dramatic mood swings causing major trouble.
- A CNA taking care of an individual who is physically disabled or challenged may have to take care of the patients in their homes and would be required to be with them for most of the working hours. Being physically challenged, they are totally dependent on nursing aides for every small activity that they require to do. At some instances, you may be required to stay at the patient's house for a specific period of time, until they recover completely. Under such circumstances, you will not always be under the supervision of registered nurse. You will have to be capable enough to handle the patient in case of emergencies and should be aware about all the basic medical treatments so that you can react accordingly.
Hierarchy of CNA Position
Besides applying for various positions of a nursing assistant, you can start your job as a CNA and gradually move up the career ladder.
- The second position in the hierarchical level of a certified nursing aide is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). An associate degree in nursing is the required qualification for this job. The duration of this training lasts for 24 months. They report to Registered Nurses (RN). Their job responsibilities include injecting medicines to the patients, conducting vital tests , reporting the progress of the patients to the physician, assisting the residents in their daily activities, and preparing the patients for undergoing surgery.
- The next level in the hierarchy of nursing aides is the Registered Nurses (RN). A four years bachelor's degree in nursing and a minimum of two years experience as a certified nursing assistant is the necessary qualification to become a registered nurse. They are the ones responsible for administering and supervising the nursing aides and the licensed practical nurses working in their hospitals. Besides this, they provide treatments, mental and emotional support to the residents as well as to the family members of the patient. Registered nurses can also obtain specializations in treatment of specific areas of the body. There are few trainings institutes that help them learn treatment of special types of residents such as treatment for children or for elderly people.
- On further progress in the hierarchical level, a two year master's degree in nursing will help you become an expert in this nursing field. You will be familiar with the complete knowledge of this domain. This master's degree will provide an effective clinical nursing skill training.
- The last qualification that can be obtained in the field of nursing is Doctorate Degree in Nursing. This will make you a nursing field expert. In this training, you will become familiar with advanced pathophysiology and advanced pharmacology.
Thus, several CNA positions are available, but mandatory training is required to be completed before obtaining the designations. You also obtain a chance to learn a lot of things from experience in various roles in health care facilities. As a certified nursing aide, it is in your hands to improve yourself in terms of knowledge and skills to grow well professionally.