What is a cna?

  1. WHat is a cna and what do they do? I've never seen any courses for cna nursing? at any of the schools I have looked into but I read something about it on here and thought about taking it this summer and working through my nursing school. Any advice?
  2. Visit LIZ07 profile page

    About LIZ07

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 30

    5 Comments

  3. by   jamy
    Certified Nurses Assistant or Aid. Usually CNA's give patient care with regards to bed baths, answer call bells, take patients to the bathroom, or put on and off the bed pan. Some hospital give them more autonomy than others. Blood sugars, EKG's, they usually they empty all the drains, ie. foleys, suction canisters, hemovacs, etc. Most hospitals will train you to be a CNA and pay you for the training.

    Quote from LIZ07
    WHat is a cna and what do they do? I've never seen any courses for cna nursing? at any of the schools I have looked into but I read something about it on here and thought about taking it this summer and working through my nursing school. Any advice?
  4. by   LIZ07
    Thanks Jamy! So does that mean you don't have to have any schooling for it you just get trained at the hospital? I'm going to be taking my pre reqs this summer and fall to become an RN but would like to have experience as a CNA.
  5. by   rach_nc_03
    Quote from LIZ07
    Thanks Jamy! So does that mean you don't have to have any schooling for it you just get trained at the hospital? I'm going to be taking my pre reqs this summer and fall to become an RN but would like to have experience as a CNA.
    It varies from state to state. In NC, you have to be trained as a CNA by an accredited program- usually the classes are 16 weeks long. Not many facilities in this area pay for your training- maybe LTC places, but certainly not hospitals. You have to have a certificate that is held by the Department of Facilities Services (for CNA I) or the NC Board of Nursing (CNA II). Here in NC, after you've completed your junior year of nursing school, you can automatically be listed as a CNA II, which gives you more autonomy and higher pay rates. For instance, in my job, I routinely insert foley catheters, give tube feedings, set up IV's, stuff like that- plus vital signs, moving patients, measuring I/O, etc. I'd recommend going to the website for your state's board of nursing to see what specific duties CNA's perform, as well as educational requirements.

    I highly recommend getting experience as a CNA during nursing school, or before- you can get over that initial anxiety when dealing with a patient, and a lot of the skills that seem daunting when you first start nursing school, like vital signs, making an occupied bed, etc. are a piece of cake once you've been a CNA. My personal opinion is that working in a hospital is more helpful than a LTC facility, unless you want to go into rehab or geriatric nursing; if you already know what specialty of nursing you're leaning toward, getting a job in that area gives you the opportunity to pick up a LOT of information on the job, just from watching and listening.

    Good luck!
  6. by   jamy
    Yes. I worked as CNA during nursing school and strongly suggest you try to work as a CNA even part-time during school. The skills you learn as a CNA will only help you in your nursing career. Good Luck

    Quote from LIZ07
    Thanks Jamy! So does that mean you don't have to have any schooling for it you just get trained at the hospital? I'm going to be taking my pre reqs this summer and fall to become an RN but would like to have experience as a CNA.
  7. by   KnittingNurseStudent
    Obviously not the most important thing, but I heard they don't make that much money. What's the general opinion out there?

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