Everything you want to know about being a CNA

1) What is a CNA?
A CNA is a Certified Nursing Assistant is a member of the health care team. Always working under the direction of a nurse (RN or LPN/LVN) the CNA provides hands on nursing care to patients, residents, clients and customers in a variety of health care settings.

CNA’s typically provide assistance with bathing, dressing, eating, toileting and oral care to people who cannot do these tasks alone. Also, the CNA is often the person who gets the vital signs, weights and height measurements.

2) Why be a CNA?
Why not? If you’re looking at a career in nursing, being a CNA is a great way to really test yourself on this goal. Being a CNA exposes you to many members of the health care team: You get to see nurses, physical and occupational therapists, doctors, med techs and assistants in action.

You’ll soon know whether you have what it takes to further yourself in nursing; perhaps you’ll decide to move to another field of work within health care.
If you’re looking for a quick job – I say becoming a CNA might not be the right choice for you.

Going through the training is hard work; being charged with caring for sick people isn’t something to be taken with a grain of salt. You have to the will and desire to help people…you’ll need patience and compassion. You have to be committed to a physically demanding job, with little tolerance for poor work ethic.

Career CNA: You won’t get rich doing this for a living. But you will gather experiences not often found in any other career. You’ll have pride over many accomplishments and you’ll make friends with people you would otherwise never meet.

Being a CNA is one of the few careers where one can say they truly give it all for little in return. On the downside, your body will pay you back in a bad way if you don’t take care of it. You’re apt to hurt your back. I

f you get sick, plan to be at work irregardless- and PLAN on getting sick more often than other people get in other careers. As stated above, the pay is not going to be rewarding- but the other rewards are priceless.

CNA’s don’t earn a high salary. You should be very aware of this. Many of who have been doing this for a long time notice new aides coming into the field, who get disillusioned over the pay.

We’re paid by the hour; that rate is dependent upon several factors which include how much experience one has; what region of the country one works in and where employment is at.

In general, CNA’s who work in long term care settings (nursing homes, assisted living) earn the least; those who work for staffing agencies and hospitals earn the most. Belonging to a union also has an impact upon pay.

Overall, wages for aides range from 8.00/hr for a brand new CNA at an assisted living center, to 20.00/hr for a CNA with 20 yrs experience, working for an agency. Like I said you’re not going to get wealthy doing this work.

3) Where can CNA’s work?
In any setting provided there is a nurse to oversee the CNA’s practice. This is very important to remember. Always, CNA’s work under the direction of a licensed nurse. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

This is per federal and state statute, and it’s to protect the public. Only a licensed nurse can delegate duties to CNA’s. Doctors and therapists cannot. Families cannot. CNA’s cannot delegate to CNA’s.

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Idaho CNA salary information  <=== This is a hyperlink

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Learning to become a CNA

This is what I have for my senior project reflection essay. If there is anything you feel like I should add or change feedback would be great 🙂

For my senior project I chose learning to become a CNA. I chose this topic because for a long time I have wanted to become a nurse. Now that I have been thinking about what I want to do, I’m not sure that I even want to go any higher than a CNA. I might choose to become a LPN or RN later on. At first, I didn’t really know much about some medical-like things. I knew little stuff like how to wipe a butt and how to bathe a person but, I only knew these things because I have younger siblings and I have had to give baths and change diapers. I have learned a lot from taking my medical terminology class and nursing assisting class.

I will learn to become a CNA by taking two online courses, which Jenni helped sign me up for. Also, by doing my my 40 hours of in clinical training that Sheri Daly, Kyle Daly, Lance Gau, and Ryan Daly set up at Aspen Park/ Kindred Healthcare. Another thing that will help me to become a good CNA is getting a job as a NA until I pass my final written and skills test.  By taking these classes and deciding to do this as my senior project, it has helped me a lot to know that this is something I want to do. I learned how to properly take vitals, not saying i’m good at them, I didn’t only learn how to do them manually but, I learned how to do them with a machine also. I had to step out of my comfort zone for the first two clinicals because I am shy and didn’t really know anyone, and the last two weren’t so bad. I felt a lot more comfortable the last two clinical days because I had been in the facility for two full days before and I knew residents names and CNA’s names. I also learned how to take and measure glucose levels for diabetic patients, and pass room meal trays. There were many things that went fairly well.

To be honest, most of my project went fairly well. I enjoyed being able to do everything that I got to do and learn everything I had the opportunity to learn. I am slowly getting better at the skills that I have learned,  it takes a lot of practice, which I have been practicing not only at home but at clinicals.

Some of the challenges that I encountered would be unintentionally hurting someone, I overcame this challenge by being more careful and taking my time to dress a person or take them to the bathroom, working on my feet in uncomfortable shoes the first day of clinicals, I decided to wear more comfortable shoes to the rest of my clinicals and being shy was a big challenge for me because when I get into a new environment I am kind of shy, I slowly became more comfortable once I knew each of the residents and each of the CNA’s. I still have a fear of feeding a person which is a challenge because working as a CNA I am going to have to feed people, and the last challenge I had was using proper body mechanics, the first day of clinicals was the worst because I was using my back to lift instead of my legs and once I used my legs it didn’t hurt my back as bad. I still have a few questions about what I have learned and I have a few things that I am still fuzzy on.

One of the things that I am still fuzzy on would be my medical abbreviations, and I am still learning blood pressure. I’m not saying I don’t know how to take blood pressure, I’m just saying I’m not the greatest at it. The two questions that I have would be, Why is a CNA’s full time work schedule four days on shift, two days off? And with that being said, What happened to the seventh day of the week?

I have grown a lot from doing this project, I haven’t only grown in my knowledge but, also in my heart. I have grown in my heart by doing this project, because I have seen what different types of diseases do to people and also, I have had to perform care on a sick patient who was on hospice and she refused food and drink for a week. It was terrible not only to see, but it was also sad to have to perform care on her to make sure she was comfortable.She passed away a few days after our third clinical. It made me want to cry but, I knew it was a part of life and CNA’s have to deal with it a lot. It made me really appreciate what I have, and I feel like I am a little more compassionate and care about other people’s feelings. For me wanting to become a CNA, these clinicals that I have done have helped me a lot to be in the shoes of a CNA.

If I could have done anything differently it would probably be I would have worked on my online classes A LOT more, I got way behind because I decided to slack off and work on other classes. If I would have stayed caught up I wouldn’t of had to work my butt off at the last minute to finish on time. This project has helped apply to my future because being a CNA is something that I want to do for a start to my career.

Here is a hyper link fora video on how to measure blood pressure

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Getting a job as a NA

I’m really looking forward to starting my new job. I will be working as a Nursing Assistant until I get my CNA certification.

Once I get my certification they said my pay will go from $9/hr to $10.50/hr, and if I work a weekend my pay goes up another $1/hr. So for instance if I get paid $9/hr starting wage and they have me work a weekend then I get paid $10/hr for what I work on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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I am super excited not only to be getting a job but, to be getting a job doing something I really like and also to be making my own money to help add to mine and Gabe’s income. Once I start making money we can start saving up for a better car and also saving up money to be able to move into our own apartment once I graduate.

My mom and Gabe are so proud of me for not listening to what my dad had said to me and actually doing what I want to be doing. By me not taking everything my had said to my to heart I feel like it has helped me a lot to stay focused and keep my mind on the things that I want to think about or do.

When I got told that I had to take a drug test I wasn’t worried at all. I don’t do drugs or anything illegal. I don’t even drink. I am a very well raised child and have learned from my mistakes yes, I have done bad things but I learned what happens when you do bad things.

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So, I obviously passed my drug test and they decided to have me go back in to fill out some more paperwork for my background check. Trust me I have nothing on my record so I’m feeling good about that too.

I am just so excited to be working in a facility that I feel comfortable being in. I have done all four of my class clinical dates there and I know my way around there fairly well. I know a lot of the residents, and I also know a lot of the CNA’s that work their so I’m feeling fairly confident, okay what am I saying… I am feeling super confident about getting the job.

I hope you can wish me luck, as I am wishing myself luck too.

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Nursing Assisting Class

I have been working on my CNA class for approximately four months now. It has been a fun and amazing experience for me. I really love that one of my best friends is doing this class with me and she is helping me so much.

I can’t wait to see where each of our futures go after we get our licenses and get a job as CNA’s. I feel like I will do really well at what I have been practicing to do these last few months, and I’m not sure weather I want to go to college after I graduate or not.

In a way I would like to go to further my career, and show to my dad that I can be successful. I really wanted to take this class not only to prove to my dad I will become what I say I want to, but also to follow in the footsteps of my family.

By taking Nursing Assisting it has shown me a lot of skills that I am actually confident in doing. It has also taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know about taking care of people, like yeah that’s the whole point of the class of I just found it interesting what I have learned so far.

Some of the skills that I have learned from Nursing Assisting would be how to properly chart information, using correct body mechanics so you won’t pull something such as a muscle, properly washing hands, taking blood pressure, many different positions (supine, prone, side lying/ semi-side lying, fowler’s {low, semi,and high}, sim’s, and lithotomy in bed).

I will go through each of the positions:

Supine- supine is known as laying on your back

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Prone- prone is known as laying on your stomach

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Side lying/ Semi-side lying- side lying is kind of obvious, you are laying on your side

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Fowler’s- fowler’s has three different parts to it. High, low, and semi

standard-position.jpg  Fowler’s High position

low-position  Fowler’s Low position

semi-fowler-position  Semi-Fowler’s position

Sim’s- sim’s position I don’t really know how to explain

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Lithotomy- the lithotomy position is the position you get put in when you are going to have a baby

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There a few more positions that are there but, I haven’t learned about the others yet. I’m sure that I will eventually but just haven’t yet.

Here is a picture of all of the positions and some of them you will recognize from the pictures above but others you  may not if you don’t know much about positions.

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If you have anything in particular you would like me to blog about next please comment to tell me. It took a lot of hard thinking and going through papers to figure out what I was going to blog about so suggestions are much appreciated 🙂

Why do I want to be a nurse?

A nurse taking blood pressure by aneroid cuff

Let’s see, why do I want to be a nurse? Well, the original first thing that made me want to be a nurse would probably be that it was kind of like my “dream career”, My mom always told me that ever since I was little I always talked about wanting to be a nurse.

Nursing has been in my family for three generations, and my mom had to stop being a CNA after like 7 years due to her surgery which made her paraplegic, meaning she can’t feel the bottom half of her body. Her surgery made her incapable of doing just about everything by herself. for a very long time. The doctors told her she would never be able to walk again, and 3 years ago is when she started being able to walk with out her walker, God can do some amazing things. She was in a rehabilitation center for 7 years and I had to watch how much pain she was in and still is in.

By going through this life experience with my mom, it really made me want to do what those nurses were doing to help my mom, and it really made me see God in a different way.

Another thing that made me want to be a nurse would be that it really interests me everything that you do as a nurse. I really love helping people, when I help people it makes me feel good inside. I love the fact that as a nursing assisting student  is that I get to meet new people and learn about how they like things and what they like.

I am really looking forward to becoming a CNA. I have had a lot of hands-on experience with stuff that CNA’s do.

When my mom got home after rehab and after her surgery, I was the one responsible for bathing her and changing her clothes and brushing her hair. All of those are things that CNA’s do.

Everything that I have done so far in the nursing home made me really see how it is to actually be in a home, some of the people are there for rehabilitation and then they are going home, others are their until they die. It is really sad to see the people who don’t want to be there.

My great grandma and my aunt are both in a home and I like having the feeling knowing that CNA’s do such a great job to make sure each person gets what they need and in all reality CNA’s and NA’s are the one who do all the work.