In nursing, there are many different titles given to those working in healthcare. Since the last post was about Certified Medical Assistants, here Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) will be discussed.
Certified Nursing Assistants complete high school training. Some high schools may even offer a CNA completion program. CNA training is typically comprised of lecture and clinical hours. For example, a local community college offers a CNA program of 75 lecture hours and 100 hours clinical training. Some employers, like nursing homes, also offer CNA training programs. The Red Cross offers a CNA training program, as well. If completed in a full-time fashion, the program may take 6 weeks to complete. During CNA training, topics covered include patients' rights, roles of the health care team, legal issues related to the CNA, medical terminology, infection control, body mechanics, communication skills, documentation care, basic patient care, and patient room upkeep. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a CNA is $24,420 per year or $11.73 per hour.
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CNAs duties include assisting patients with bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, activities of daily living, taking vital signs, and weight and height. CNAs may work in a variety of healthcare settings. The settings include but are not limited to: hospitals, hospice, home care, nursing homes, clinics, day cares and urgent care centers.
Nonetheless, like many healthcare professionals, the CNA's scope of practice is limited. Scope of practice defines what procedures and actions a professional may take as is defined by their license issued by their state. A CNA cannot administer medications, insert catheters, assess or diagnose patients, prescribe drugs, or supervise nurses. CNA's are not nurses, but do work under the supervision of nurses.