A Nursing Assistant has unique qualifications compared to other nursing positions. Although formal training is necessary, only a high school diploma is needed to apply. In turn, the position is available to people as young as 16 years old. After passing the exam, the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) can apply for available nursing positions. However, each state may require different educational requirements in order to practice.
The Nursing Assistant role is the perfect fit for someone interested in pursuing a nursing career. If you’re switching into healthcare, the certification process can take an upwards of 4-6 months. Explore available nursing assistant jobs at Eisenhower Health where we offer full-time and part-time positions in various departments. Learn more about the nursing assistant’s role and responsibilities as you embark on a fulfilling career path in nursing.
What are the Responsibilities of a Nursing Assistant?
Depending on the department, a CNA may have a specific set of responsibilities unique to the field.
RN managers can be located in various departments. For example, a Nursing Assistant in Telemetry closely monitors patients’ vitals to identify abnormality. Generally, a CNA will work with patients of all ages. However, they can also work with a specific age group that has common health conditions like cardiovascular disease.
Common responsibilities for a Nursing Assistant at Eisenhower Health are:
- Accurately obtain vital signs: Temperature, Pulse, Respirations, Blood Pressure, and Pain level.
- Documents and communicates abnormal values and changes to RN.
- Performs AM and HS hygiene per standard.
- Appropriately positions and ambulates patients as per care plan.
- Assists with set up and/or feedings of patients.
- Accurately performs duties assigned by and under the supervision of the RN.
- Adheres to guidelines for change of shift report from assigned RN.
- Performs patient rounds at least every hour.
- Maintains general tidiness of the patient room.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
How do I Become a CNA in California?
In order to become a CNA, California has a specific list of approved training programs. The program includes 60 hours for classroom teaching and 100 hours of supervised training. Alternatively, equivalent experience may be accepted based on partial completion of a RN program. Although the position only requires one certification, the requirements to take the exam are extensive. View the specific application form to start the certification process here.
Documents required to take the Certification Nursing Assistant exam include:
- Criminal background checks/LiveScan fingerprinting
- High school diploma/GED
- Proof of age, or parental consent if applicant is 16-17 years old
- Immunization records
- Recent TB test results
- CPR/First Aid Certification
How to Prepare for the CNA Exam
The exam is divided into two sections: written exam and clinical skills. Both tests are proctored by an instructor and licensed nurse. The written exam consists of 36 questions on physical care skills, 16 questions on nurse aid, and 8 questions on psychosocial care skills. Check out these free CNA practice exams and study guides available online.
For the skills exam, it’s recommended to arrive in scrubs. The section takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Most importantly, nurses must demonstrate proper hand washing for 20 seconds. If not, it results in an automatic failure. Although there’s no specific instructions, applicants must demonstrate 3-6 of the following skills on a mannequin:
- Taking vital signs
- Proper bathing techniques
- Transferring patient from bed to chair or stretcher
- Making a proper bed
- Providing Catheter Care
- Positioning patients
The skills exam does not require a perfect score to pass. If a mistake is made, it’s encouraged to immediately explain the correct course of action to the nurse. Though points will still be docked, there are grace points for self-identified mistakes.
What are Desirable Qualities in a Nursing Assistant?
As a member of the nursing team, a CNA must be a team-player and strong communicator. During shift rotations, it’s critical that patient information is accurately passed along to the next member. Additionally, nursing assistants should know the standard procedure when abnormal changes in vital signs are detected. Qualities of a good nursing assistant are:
- Compassionate and friendly to patients and staff.
- Attentiveness to detail when caring for patients.
- Good sense of cleanliness to tidy patient rooms.
- Reacts quickly in cases of emergency to seek help from a supervising nurse or nurse manager.
- Good oral and written communication skills.
- Collaborative skills to improve team communication and improve patient care.
Why Should I be a Nursing Assistant in California?
California offers great job opportunities for nurses at any stage of their career. With high salaries and a steady job outlook, nurses have the stability to settle down in any city. At Eisenhower Health, we support our nurse teams with a caring staff and benefits package. Jumpstart your nursing career at our world-class medical center and apply to our available nursing assistant jobs. Explore our Careers Page for ample opportunities for professional growth after you take the first step with us.
Originally posted on 30/9/2021