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Multiple Facets of Certified Assistant Nursing

The Certified Assistant Nursing is a very strong pillar of the health care team, who with the increase of the number of years of experience has achieved a high level of competence, but does not hold valid qualification and approval to carry on those because of issued arising out of liability and legality bindings.

There has been need for regulation, controlling and verifying the education and experience and as a consequence in North America there is a provision of recording and registering such information at State Health Board Registry in respect of Certified Assistant Nursing. This central certification facility is useful to the employer for verifying the experience and knowledge. This facility is very useful for prevention of persons getting employment whose registration have become invalid and are barred to continue the job.

Certified Assistant Nursing abbreviated as CNA is a trained nurse, who provides assistance to persons requiring healthcare help and has many responsibilities

  1. Ensuring performance of daily living activities to patients incapable of doing themselves.
  2. Bedside Care with respect to primary nursing jobs.
  3. Observing the vital signs of a patient i.e. feeling pulse, measuring blood pressure, taking temperature reading etc.

All the above activities are carried out under the supervision of Registered Nurse working at the health care facility.

CNA is known by a number of different names like Patient Care Assistant, State Tested Nurse Aid all are different titles carrying same function and responsibilities.

The Legal Provision:

Federal nurse aide training regulations are mandated in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987).

As per the above legislation the CNA Candidate must have participated in a State-approved training course for a minimum period of 50 hours in theory and 100 hours in supervised clinical training. The CNA who completes the course are known as Certified Assistant Nurse and having completed the training and passed the CNA Competency test are registered in the State Board registry and issued certification. To ensure that remains in continuity a CNA is required to participate in 48 hours of continuing education in duration of each 24 months at a stretch.

The requirement for becoming a state-certified nurse assistant is achieving mastery of number of primary skills essentially needed by a patient at a healthcare facility or a nursing home. The detailed account of nursing assistant skills relates providing care to elderly patients. Most of these skills are expected to be valid for any nursing assistant’s assignment.

Nursing Assistants (NA) under normal conditions work in all the hospital units, but there are some units, where they are conspicuously are not there like highly stressful units like (CCU, ICU) since the patients have critical condition and a CNA is not qualified to handle such patients.

Prominence of Role of CNA:

The hospital environments and health care facilities are greatly dependant on CNA for performance of above listed assignments, of general nature for which the CNA has participated in the prescribed training and has achieved certification from the State Health Board. Thus the registered nurse is relieved of basic nursing jobs so that they can concentrate their time and energy is spent in carrying out jobs as specified in each state’s Nurse Practice Act like formulation of healthcare plan, judging nursing needs, taking responsibility of medicines administered.

A Certified Assistant Nursing provides assistance in setting up surgery room equipments for a procedure. The CNA, who assists in a surgical procedure, is required to hold great related skill in the actual procedure in progress and is also required to have proficiency for observing patient’s condition and report that information back to the Registered Nurse.

Due to involvement in carrying out other responsibilities, the Registered Nurse is not in a position to devote more time at the healthcare facility with patient. Keeping in view the type of relation a CNA is having with the Registered Nurse, often CNA is referred as the nurse’s “eyes and ears”.

The very routine functions a CNA is doing are listed below:

•           Answering of patients’ call signals.

•           Turning and repositioning of bedridden patients, either alone or with assistance, for prevention bedsores taking place.

•           Observing patients’ conditions, measuring and recording food and liquid intake    and output and vital signs like feeling of pulse. Measurement of blood pressure, taking temperature reading and reporting deteriorative changes to professional staff.

•           Feeding patients who are finding difficulty to feed themselves.

•           Helping the patients in their walking, doing exercises, and help patient for moving in and out of bed.

•           Preparing patients for surgery, treatment, or examination.

•           Transportation of patients for consultation, diagnostic tests, with the help of a wheelchair or stretcher.

•           Cleaning of room and changing of bed covers.

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