Professionals For Basic Needs
Nurse practitioner. Phlebotomist. Pediatrician. Anesthesiologist. You may be surprised at the amount of medical terminology beyond “doctor” you’ve come to understand without even trying. But what is a certified nursing assistant? If you don’t know that one yet, you should, as certified nursing assistants are becoming increasingly active professionals in caring for patients. Indeed, they may be the new backbone of health infrastructure as America’s gigantic “Baby Boomer” generation ages.
What makes certified nursing assistants so valuable is their knowledge, flexibility and economy. It starts with class work, continues with testing, then leads to the frontlines of caring for patients, whose needs may be minor, major, or anywhere in between. While requirements for certification vary from state to state, serious training is required.
Broadly, the American Red Cross , which offers such training through 100 chapters in 18 states, describes a CNA as someone trained to deliver “basic care and support for residents in nursing communities, clients at home and patients in hospitals.” In the 18 states in which the Red Cross offers this training, the requirements for certification range substantially, so it’s important to assess your own state’s program. In Maryland, specifically, Montgomery College offers training for those wishing to become certified as nursing assistants. The education begins with basic nursing skills the college lists as “taking vital signs, assuring patient safety and caring for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.” That lays the foundation for aspiring nursing assistants, who then move on to more comprehensive hands-on training. An examination is then required for certification. In the Maryland exam, the greatest weight is given to basic nursing skills, followed by testing on the “activities of daily living,” followed by nine other categories. The entire process, of course, is overseen by the Maryland Board of Nursing.
A Certified Nursing Assistant Is A Cost-Effective Frontline Of Care For Meeting Patients’ Basic Needs
While a certified nursing assistant’s role may seem minor if cost is the judge – the average CNA salary in the U.S. is less than half that of a nurse practitioner and about a third for a general-practice physician – according to Payscale.com. These professionals are increasingly becoming the healthcare workers with whom our growing population of seniors will interact on a daily basis. It is these certified nursing assistants, whose services are relatively affordable, who will provide their patients greater independence, greater comfort and greater peace of mind, now and for years to come.