ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Is a CNA?

Updated on September 23, 2008
radgirl profile image

Sunshine is a wife, mother of four, a relationship expert, a journalist, a photographer, a public speaker, and author.

 

The fist line of defense for patients in nursing homes, hospitals, or other situations where they are in need of care, is the Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA. What is a CNA? By definition, a CNA is a person who has completed a training course approved by the Board of Nursing for the state in which they're licensed, has completed the correct amount of clinical hours, and has passed the state exam. Courses are often offered through medical care facilities, community colleges, the Red Cross, or privately approved classes. In training, a CNA learns how to assist residents, or patients, with their Activities of Daily Living, or ADL's, take their vitals, and document and report directly to a nurse.

There are many different Activities of Daily Living, but a CNA will focus mainly on:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing and Undressing
  • Eating
  • Transferring from one surface to another
  • Voluntary control of urine or bowel movements
  • Toileting
  • Walking
  • Locomotion
  • Bed Mobility

A CNA also learns how to follow instructions on a care plan, prevent pressure sores, chart events of the day with correct documentation, execute instructions from the Therapy Department, answer call lights in a timely fashion, provide post mortem care, assist families with the eminent death of a loved one, patient safety and confidentiality, and catheter and ostomy care. When you are a CNA, you are the nurse's right hand, the maid, a counselor, a family member, kitchen help, office staff, and traffic director. It takes dedication, a big heart, compassion, and most of all, patience to be successful as a CNA.

Certified Nursing Assistants work directly under an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse), or an RN (Registered Nurse), and are an integral part of the nursing program. CNA's are the first line of care for residents in a nursing facility, a hospital, or an in home care situation. The CNA will put their hands on a patient more times than the nurses, and even the doctor ever will.

Being a CNA doesn't end with the physical care a patient needs. It means being the voice of the patient to the nurses, who are in turn the voice to the doctors. CNAs' are the first ones to notice changes in a patient. Bringing changes to the attention of your nurse can mean the difference in quality of life from that moment on. A CNA is often the only family for patients who feel they've been forgotten. Sharing excitement for their achievements and holding their hand through their disappointments is a big part of the job. You're the soothing voice in the middle of the night that calms their fears, and for some, you are the last contact they will have with this world. You listen, you encourage, you make them laugh, and hold them when they cry. You treat them like your grandmas and grandpas, because they are all in fact some one's grandma or grandpa, and you know you would want yours well taken care of. You learn their life stories, because they have seen it all. Also, you tuck them in just the same every night, even if they treated you poorly, slapped you in the face, or repainted their walls with bowel movement, because you know their injury or illness prevents them from being any other way.

As a Certified Nursing Assistant, I have met the most interesting people who have led amazing lives, and done fantastic things. People live better lives because I have assisted them to do so. They've pushed me to my limits, but I counter it with the love that I have for each and every one of them. I've seen perfectly healthy people fall ill, struggle to stay alive, and breathe their last breaths in my care, and I've let families cry on my shoulder as they said goodbye one last time. I've been treated like dirt, and praised like a goddess. I've shed tears alone in the bathroom as I struggled to stay strong after loosing one that was particularly close to me, and I've cheered them on when they wanted to give up, seen them get well, and go home. It's been sad, wonderful, horrible, and amazing, all in the same day. Though the job is physically challenging, emotionally draining, mentally difficult, and flat out exhausting, it's also one of the most rewarding in the nursing field.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • thecnatraining profile image

      thecnatraining 

      6 years ago from Vancouver

      Most cna's do the back-breaking jobs, cleaning up beds, lifting 400 lb patients, etc. most become discouraged with nursing in this capacity and drop out of the nursing field. CNA is a gateway to higher paying postions like LPN or RN. Depends on the persons goals of course!!

    • profile image

      EJH 

      7 years ago

      Very informative and honest. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • profile image

      Ebonique 

      9 years ago

      I liked how you really just layed the truth out about how it is going to be in the beginning but once you get the hang of you would be great see the reason i chose this because i had a grandmother that i i had to take care of and i know how hard it is but its like if you have patience you would do wonderful and also like communicating with older women, men its like what you dont know they would always be right their to talk all about it. but theres was one question that i had to ask you for your exam test was it hard or what do have to do how many points do have to score to pass.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)