CNA training is the course that a person undergoes to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. A nursing assistant is the hands-on medical care giver. This is the person who gets directly into contact with the patient at all times, may it be meal time, medicine time, walk sessions (recommended or voluntary), and even during sleeping periods. The nursing assistant actually implements the doctor’s instructions and those of other senior medical personnel who only see the patient periodically, making crucial assessment, noting the nursing assistant’s observations, and making professional recommendations. The Certified Nursing Assistant is, to a great extent, the link between family and their patient; patient and the doctor; and patient and the physiotherapist or any other medical service provider. This is because the nursing assistant can give minute to minute analysis of the patient’s behavior and responses to various medical and physical treatments.
Patients are very sensitive most of the times because they feel vulnerable and much less in control of their lives. They can, therefore, over-react to situations that other people may take lightly. It then behooves the person nearest them to calm things down and help them feel at ease. The person usually closest to the patient is the Certified Nursing Assistant and it is the assistant who gets to experience the patient’s good moods, foul moods, and all the varying states of mind that a patient goes through. The nursing assistant should therefore be someone who has the gift of patience; that is the only way one can deal with patients who are sometimes paranoid and suffering from diminished self-confidence. Incidentally, the aspect of patience does not relate to the patients alone; it also touches on other parties who work closely with the medical aide. Therefore, the CNA training given to nurse aides emphasizes the need for patience in dealing with colleagues like doctors, who may be working on extremely tight schedules, supervisors who may be over-worked and stressed out, and all other parties involved in the patients’ welfare.
A person willing to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant should have an eye for detail. Considering that nursing assistants implement what the senior medical personnel recommend, the role of the assistant is very crucial and sensitive. What the doctor says or recommends only works because the nursing assistant implements it to the letter. A difference in dosage of medicine, timing of medicine, or even missing out a key, albeit small, sign of distress from a patient, can cause serious damage to the patient and in some cases prove to be fatal. That is why the nursing assistant needs to be alert at all times and very observant. A Certified Nursing Assistant is expected to pick up even unspoken cues from the patient. It helps even better when the nurse aide is a quick thinker because the first move taken when a patient is in distress can make the difference between life and death for the patient. That is why the practical part of the CNA training is very important; exposing the nurse aide trainee to the reality on the ground and letting the tutors evaluate one’s quickness of mind in handling emergencies.
The educational background required for one to qualify for CNA training is a High School Diploma or a Graduate Equivalent Diploma. The trainee then goes through two parts of training-the theory part and the practical part of it. During the first part of training, the trainees sit in class and listen to lectures, watch relevant video clips and make presentations. On the second leg, the trainees are dispatched to medical centers and put in groups of ten under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. This second part is the one that shows how well the trainee’s personal attributes and acquired knowledge blend to make a good medical aide.
CNA training is mandatory in all the US states as long as one hopes to secure employment as a nurse aide. The minimum period the nurse aide training program should take is 100 hours and it should be conducted under the co-ordination of a Registered Nurse. Within 24 months of successfully completing the course, the trainee should sit a State Competency Examination with a view to getting certified. Thereafter, the Certified Nursing Assistant needs to be re-certified every two years. The re-certification is not complicated but involves ensuring that one has had at least an 8-hour shift of service within the two years. With CNA certification, one stands better chances of employment and even better pay.