Assisted Living Facilities and In-Home care are both very prominent in the healthcare field. When families can no longer meet the needs of aging family members, or when extra help is needed on a daily basis, getting an outside caregiver can be the best option. When considering assisted living or in-home care for yourself or a loved one, it is important to look at all facets of the care that will be provided. Finding a good fit can be difficult, and when making decisions, the thought of a stranger taking care of someone precious can be a difficult one to process. One of the first questions to ask would be what is a CNA and what do they do?
What Is a CNA?
With assisted care, most caretakers are CNAs, or Certified Nursing Assistants. But what exactly does that job entail? And what type of care do they provide to aging seniors who cannot take care of themselves? With in-home and residential care, Certified Nursing Assistants are the backbone of the program. They work endlessly to ensure a safe, clean, and healthy environment for the residents or patients while also maintaining a personal relationship with those they care for.
CNAs are also known for being a friend, confidante, and ally to the patients and tend to know more about the patients on a personal level than, for example, the Nurses or Nurse Practitioners, as the CNAs spend more hands-on time with the individuals. If there is still hesitation about entrusting a CNA with the daily care of a loved one, the below information might help clarify the need for the type of care that a CNA provides and the benefits of having a CNA to care for personal needs or the needs of a loved one.
How Do a Nurse and a CNA Differ?
The biggest difference between a Certified Nursing Assistant and a Nurse is the required level of education. Nurses must attend nursing school and get their nursing degree while a CNA must get a certification from an intensive six-week course. Accordingly, the responsibilities also differ; nurses are responsible for most of the intense health care of a patient, while the CNA takes care of most of the personal responsibilities.
In terms of assisted and in-home care, a CNA is a great individual to care for a loved one! A CNA is more focused on personal health based on interactions and regular daily activities. Certified Nursing Assistants tend to engage more with the patients on a personal level, which establishes better relationships and allows them to get to know the patient and their daily needs. CNAs may even build such a good relationship with the residents that they know more about their health than the nurses do simply by conversation. They are typically closer to the residents and able to discuss matters on a less business-like level, making individuals often more comfortable with the CNAs.
How Could I Benefit from the Services of a CNA?
A CNA is an asset to assisted care facilities and in-home caregiving services! They are the ones that check in on a loved one on a regular basis and become more familiar with them. They get to know them beyond the patient-caregiver relationship by establishing personal relationships. This is beneficial to the resident and the family members, as there is always someone nearby that knows how the resident is doing and can provide, in full detail, the extent of a loved one’s well-being. CNAs are the most involved in a loved one’s life.
They are also trained to care for individuals with the utmost professionalism, while also establishing a personal relationship filled with trust and genuine care. Whether they are helping them dress, eat, or bathe, or simply having a conversation with a loved one, they are establishing trust and building relationships that are much more intimate and one-on-one than that of the average caregiver-patient relationship.
How Does One Become a CNA?
Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant does not take any type of formal education necessarily, although this depends on state laws. For most areas, a CNA must have a high school education and be able to successfully complete the required training. This training is available at nursing schools, tech schools, or sometimes community colleges.
However, it is not just the technical requirements that make for a good CNA. In order to complete all the responsibilities that the job might entail, an individual must also be able to be personable with their patients or residents. They also need to be able to handle physical labor, long hours, and very dedicated work. Those who wish to become Certified Nursing Assistants should also be ready for many different types of challenges, such as critical thinking or on-the-spot decision making. A CNA is the backbone of most assisted living facilities and are able to be both personable and professional with every client, patient, and family member.
What Type of Education Does a Certified Nursing Assistant Have?
The CNA program is typically filled with students who are working toward their nursing degree and a variety of other individuals. A CNA must have some college experience and must obtain a certificate in nursing assistance. This rigorous program ensures that the individual can complete all requirements of any CNA job, i.e. taking vitals, assisting residents, talking with family members, and knowing how to care for a patient on a personal level. The need for Certified Nursing Assistants is rapidly growing, with the presence of them becoming more and more prevalent. They are the individuals that complete the hard and “dirty” work for the nurses so that they can better focus on providing the best health care and assistance to each patient. They are able to provide the best, most personal care for a loved one and keep the family informed regarding a loved one’s health.
What Are the Job Responsibilities of a Certified Nursing Assistant?
CNAs have very specific responsibilities within assisted care facilities. They are close to the patients or residents and handle the day-to-day tasks needed to keep those they care for comfortable and healthy. Feeding, bathing, and dressing patients who need the assistance with one or all of these things will take of most of the time of a CNA.
CNAs are responsible for taking the patient’s vital signs and reporting any abnormalities to the physician. They will also do a lot of assistance work in serving meals, making beds, and keeping the rooms clean, as well as setting up medical equipment and also observing the patient and keeping track of their conditions or behaviors. The CNAs are very close to the patients, so establishing a good relationship with the one that will be taking care of a family member is a great way to stay connected.
CNAs and Assisted Living/ In-Home Care
In an Assisted Living Community, Certified Nursing Assistants function directly under LPNs and registered nurses. CNAs typically assist in hygienic care, such as hair and skin care, feeding, shaving, and oral care. However, when the CNA is operating within in-home care, they are independent, working on behalf of a company as a caregiver and friend to the resident. In this role, the responsibilities of a CNA also involve transferring patients to different units for checkups and exercises. During this process, the CNA has to be able to successfully perform the required tasks and make efforts to avoid any injuries.
Along with housekeeping work and preparation of meals, they must also monitor health changes and report to registered nurses. In regards to in-home care, a CNA must be able to keep track of the resident’s daily plans, assisting with taking them to appointments, checkups, or even lunch with their friends. CNAs operate on a more personal level, assisting the resident or patient with whatever needs they may have. CNAs are the face of assisted living or in-home care; they are the main providers of attention, care, and comradery to a family member.
Is Using the Services of a CNA the Right Option?
Do some research to determine whether the services that a CNA provides will be a good fit. There is plenty of information available online as well as through discussion with those who have had experiences with CNAs and in-home or assisted living. It can be a daunting and rather scary task to make decisions on what is best for a family member long-term.
CNAs are a widely utilized resource in the medical field and have evolved to become a flexible, adaptable, and caring position. Those who take on this role can not only take care of the physical needs of a patient or resident, but also provide company to those who may dread the loneliness of getting older. A CNA can be a great asset to a family. Whether the decision is between an assisted living community or in-home caregiver, a CNA can provide families with stability and the comfort. Contact Comfort Home Care for more information.