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A Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, assists patients with their activities of daily living, or ADLs. The setting may be a long-term-care facility, hospital, or the patient’s home. The CNA has completed all requirements set forth by their state and employer. CNAs work directly with patients who are experiencing a decrease in the capacity to care for themselves. It is the responsibility of the CNA to monitor the patient’s physical and mental state, and assist them with meeting their basic care needs.
A CNA is an individual who has met the educational requirements for certification. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, or OBRA, sets these requirements. OBRA requires meeting federal training regulations necessary in the completion of a state-approved course. The training must include 50 hours of theory and 100 hours of supervised clinical training. Completion of the program and successfully passing the test entitles the assistant to placement on the state Nurse Aide Registry. CNAs are required to complete 48 hours of continuing education every 24 months.
Care is provided in a long-term-care facility, hospital, or in the patient’s home. Some facilities may require further certifications such as basic life support and medication certification. Basic skills include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Ambulating and moving patients with a Power Lift
- Taking blood pressure and temperature
- Proper feeding and bathing
- Monitoring skin conditions
- Monitoring the patients ongoing physical and mental capacities
- Reporting changes to the Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse on duty
- Documenting patient care and changes
This occupation is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations as an increasing segment of the population enters retirement and becomes elderly through 2016. The pressure on hospitals to release patients quickly will distribute more patients into long-term-care facilities, as well.