Many people have questions about CNA training in Nevada. Programs to certify these health care workers are administered by the Nevada State Board of Nursing.
Meaning of CNA
The acronym CNA can have several meanings, including the name of a prominent insurance company (CNA Financial Corporation), China Northern Airlines or the Canadian Nurses Association. It can also be used to mean the Caribbean News Agency or Certified National Accountant. However, in the healthcare industry, the most common usage of the term CNA is to mean a Certified Nursing Assistant.
While graduates of CNA classes in Nevada may often be called “”nurse”" in their professional lives, it is important to distinguish the different types of nursing careers. Registered nurses or RNs are licensed professionals with more training than CNAs.
CNAs Are Paraprofessionals
These employees are paraprofessionals who provide bedside care and complete other routine tasks, usually in hospitals or medical centers. Nursing assistants may work daily or weekly with patients with physical disabilities, mental impairments. Alternatively, the CNA may work in a hospital or other medical facility providing daily care for patients with acute illnesses or conditions. Many work in nursing homes or private homes to care for patients who are infirm due to old age, disability or disease.
Nursing assistants are certified paraprofessionals. Although most people think of doctors and nurses when they imagine the medical field, there is a vast field of paraprofessionals who provide care in this industry. Titles for paraprofessionals include Patient Technician, Auxiliary nurse, Home Health Aide, Geriatric Nurse and Patient Care Assistant. Many facilities that hire team members with these titles require that they hold a CNA certification. In the U.S., this certification is granted through the state, usually following a written exam.
Duties for Nursing Assistants
CNAs have many duties, often working with chronically ill patients or those with permanent disabilities. The nursing assistant is often the person who checks vital signs like blood pressure, pulse, respiration and weight, and records these important statistics. They may also assist in collecting medical samples, including urine.
Nursing assistants may help patients with physical therapy and other rehabilitative processes, especially in homes or rehab centers. These may include range-of-motion exercises, resistance training and monitoring. Many CNAs assist patients with personal hygiene needs when the patient is unable to do so. This may include assisting with showers, giving sponge baths to bedridden patients, washing the patient’s hair and cutting nails, brushing teeth or other tasks the patient is unable to perform for himself or herself.
Some tasks performed by CNAs are less technical in nature. Nursing assistants often perform routine tasks for patients such as assisting in meal preparation, shopping for food, planning nutritious menus and monitoring food and water intake for patients who are disabled, elderly or recovering from a serious accident.
For patients with mobility problems, the CNA also offers assistance in getting around by wheelchair, on crutches, with a walker or by other means.
These are just some of the myriad duties that CNAs perform for patients. Regardless of the types of duties performed, it is critical that a nursing assistant receive excellent training, usually by attending CNA classes in Nevada or another state.