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With so many nursing-related careers out there it can be hard to discern just what each profession does, especially if you’re just starting out in the field. Certified Nursing Assistants fill the role of providing direct care to patients, whether in a hospital, in a nursing care facility or in the patient’s home. In some places CNAs may also be called Healthcare Assistants, Nursing Techs, Nurses’ Aides, Patient Care Technicians and a variety of other titles depending on the exact nature of their work.

Certified Nursing Assistants usually work under the supervision of an RN or LPN and form an essential part of the larger nursing team. Because CNAs are working closely with patients and administrating much of their daily care, they form an important link between the patient and the RNs they work with. There are some tasks which only RNs are legally certified to perform and nursing assistants help finish some of the smaller tasks so that nurses can spend more time focusing on these specialty issues. Nursing Assistants are important in this respect because they spend more time with the patient and act as the nurse’s eyes and ears when problems and complications arise.

As a CNA, you can expect to perform tasks like formulating care plans, giving nursing assessments, monitoring the effects of medication and assisting in surgical prep. In some cases, Nursing Assistants may also be responsible for caring for the daily living needs of patients which can mean helping them eat, bathing them and providing any other living assistance they may require. CNAs must have a high degree of skill at performing a variety of procedures, have keen observation skills, be able to stay calm in stressful situations and love working closely with people, patients and coworkers alike.

If you’re looking into becoming a CNA, you can find courses through local colleges and universities, the Red Cross, or even at hospitals and medical facilities in your area. Depending on the type of program you decide to enroll in, you may spend anywhere from a few weeks to a few months taking preparatory classes. In addition to these classes, you’ll need to complete a clinical training program to ensure you get the experience you need actually working with patients under the supervision of a trained nurse.

Potential CNAs should be aware that this is not always an easy field to work in and you must love working with patients and administering care. Because of this, there is a high demand for qualified CNAs in hospitals and care facilities all over the United States. With experience, confidence will grow, and many will find this line of work especially rewarding.

Featured Online Nursing Programs

Rasmussen College
Rasmussen College - A.S. in Medical Administration. For those who are pursuing a career in medical assisting, Rasmussen College's Associate's degree in Medical Administration will provide students with the education needed to help run a healthcare office. Students will be prepared to face the various situations they will encounter in the workforce.
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Kaplan University
Kaplan University - B.S. in Health Science. Students interested in becoming a nursing assistant will be very pleased with the Bachelor's Degree in Health Science that Kaplan University offers. Kaplan is a respected online institution with a history of providing high quality classes at affordable prices.
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Virginia College
Virginia College - The B.S. in Health Services Management. Virginia College Online is the perfect online university for students on the go. With classes online, students can take them when they have the free time to do so and from any location with internet access.

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