Legal Standards for Certified Nursing Assistants

As with many medical professions, certified nursing assistants are regulated by state and federal laws. Unlike a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse, CNAs are unable to perform many health-related tasks. Failure to comply with the legal standards set forth for certified nursing assistants can lead to serious legal implications, such as losing your ability to work as a CNA or even imprisonment.

The following are general guidelines for the legal standards set forth for CNAs. These guidelines apply to both if you have taken CNA classes online or if you have taken a tradition program. As stated above, if you fail to obey these requirements, then you can face serious legal trouble. If ever you’re in doubt about a job function or your role within the nursing field, immediately stop what you’re doing and seek advice from your supervisor.

Tips for Avoiding Legal Issues as a CNA:

  1. Fully understand the scope of practice as outlined by your state and the federal government
  2. Do just the tasks you have been taught and cleared to perform; if you’re requested to do jobs you haven’t been educated to do request assistance and clarification from your superior
  3. Carry out all job duties exactly as you were trained; never attempt to pick up the slack and perform a duty that’s reserved for a registered nurse.
  4. Engage in continued education courses to remain current on industry trends and unique service demands.
  5. Ensure you fully understand what’s expected of you and how you can successfully accomplish your goals without overstepping your legal boundaries.
  6. Have a patient first mentality focused around doing no harm to your patient.
  7. Carefully monitor the security of all patient belongings ñ never remove an item from their room or space without the direct consent of the patient.
  8. Never accept gifts (either property or monetary) from patients.

Tips for Avoiding Theft Charges

While it may seem avoiding theft charges is a simple task for a CNA, but the unfortunate truth is many certified nursing assistants find themselves at the wrong end of a legal battle. In the most simplest of ways, utilizing any item that doesn’t actually belong to you is considered theft in the realm of CNAs and the medical community. It doesn’t matter what the item is.

The most effective tip is to never utilize, remove or take an item that doesn’t belong to you. This is true for patient items as well as any items that belong to your employer. If you’re in doubt, speak with your supervisor before rearranging or moving items. It’s best to be safe rather than sorry.

Patient Assault

While the majority of CNAs will never face a patient assault charge, the truth of the matter is this charge is far easier to come across than one may think. In the most basic of terms, if you touch your patient without their permission or with the goal of intimidating the patient, you’re technically assaulting the patient. Unlike what many CNAs believe, an assault charge isn’t all about hitting or injuring the patient.

In order to avoid an assault charge, make sure every task that involves you touching or moving a patient is met with consent from the patient. Tell the patient exactly what you’re about to do and ask for permission. If the patient refuses your touch, immediately discuss the situation with your supervisor. There are occasions when a patient is unable to make consent due to cognitive disorders. If this is the case, then you’ll likely be accompanied by your supervisor during the procedure.

Personality Traits to Become a Great Certified Nursing Assistant

Becoming a certified nursing assistant is one of the greatest decisions an aspiring healthcare worker can make. This dynamic and interesting career field is filled with an ever-changing list of demands. Many find this to be a rewarding career as you actually play a direct role in the rehabilitation of health of patients. However, as with many other professions, there is a distinct difference between an average CNA and a great CNA.

While your training plays a direct role in achieving greatness, there are several personality traits that the greatest within this field seem to share. The practical and theoretical knowledge a certified nursing assistant possess is only as great as their ability to interact with patients and fellow nursing staff members. The following personality traits are considered essential to truly excel within this profession.

Trait #1: Genuine Care

Unlike other members of a medical team, a certified nursing assistant regularly works within close proximity of patients. These are the nurses who are at the beckon-call of patients and visit with them the most. Therefore, the top personality trait of a great CNA is genuine care. You should never show annoyance or anger toward a patient.

Trait #2: Limitless Calm

As a certified nursing assistant, you’ll be faced with stressful and energetic settings on a daily basis. In order to truly excel within this profession, you must feature an endless amount of calmness. You will also be tasked with performing undesirable tasks, such as emptying bedpans. In order to keep patients feeling secure, you must approach even the most undesirable duty with calmness.

Trait #3: Workplace Flexibility

If you work in a hospital or a nursing home, you must remain flexible when it comes to your schedule as well as your anticipated job duties. Emergencies arise out of nowhere. Therefore, itís imperative you are capable of handling the ever-changing tide that is nursing and healthcare.

Trait #4: Stability in Your Emotions

As any seasoned certified nursing assistant will tell you, working alongside dying or terminally ill patients is a highly emotional situation. This is especially true if you’ve become close with a patient. Watching someone suffer or come to the end of their life can be extremely taxing on your emotions. Therefore, it’s imperative that you act with compassion and true empathy. However, it’s more important that you’re able to handle these stressful, emotional and complex situations with grace and pure stability. Many find the emotional requirements within the nursing field are too much; however, with practice and a solid understanding that you’re here to care for patients you’ll weather these challenges unscathed.

Essential Advice When Considering a Job as a CNA

So you’re ready for an exciting and dynamic career within the medical industry. While you have a passion for helping others, you may not have the time or financial ability to become a physician, registered nurse, or a licensed practical nurse. If your finding yourself in this state of mind, then a career as a certified nursing assistant may be ideal for you.

After becoming a CNA and gaining some experience within the medical industry, you may find it easier to progress into a role as a registered nurse. In fact, there are many options to go from CNA to RN that are worth researching. A RN is a registered nurse who has graduated from a nursing program and has met the requirements for a nursing license in their state.

Another route is to become an LPN. A LPN is a licensed practical nurse that works under a registered nurse or doctor. If you are considering the LPN track, there are many online LPN programs which offer insights into the position, it’s licensing requirements, and options for education.

Whether you simply become a CNA and are happy staying in the role, or if your aspirations lead you to pursue the path of an RN or LPN, a CNA is a great place to begin. Certified nursing assistants are the backbone for many medical facilities. Although these healthcare professionals are relatively entry-level within the nursing process, they are essential to ensure the health and rehabilitation of patients. When you’re considering a job as a CNA, there are several aspects you should be aware of to ensure you not only pick the ideal employer, but that you’re well-suited for this position.

Advice #1 – Where Do You Wish to Work?

Because almost every healthcare setting requires a certified nursing assistant, there are literally hundreds of different employment options. These professionals may be found at nursing homes, hospitals, private physician offices, schools and even cruise ships. As with any other job, it is important to isolate the ideal work environment to ensure success and happiness.

This being said, the basic job functions of a certified nursing assistant is relatively universal. You’ll be required to assist with the cleanliness of a facility as well as assisting registered nurses and physicians when it comes to monitoring patients and dispensing certain medications. You may also be required to monitor and tend to the psychological needs of patients. This profession is indeed dynamic and multi-faceted.

Advice #2 – Obtain Property Training

One of the main reasons so many are interested in this career is due to the type of training that’s involved. Unlike becoming a registered nurse or a physician, training for certified nursing assistants is relatively quick. Generally, a training program lasts anywhere from three to six months. You can obtain training at community colleges, vocational schools or even through the American Red Cross. Regardless of where you obtain your training, it’s important to undertake training that’s accredited by your state nursing board. Because you’ll be required to pass a certification examination, it’s important your training meets the eligibility requirements set forth by your state.

To learn more about eligibility requirements to become a certified nursing assistant, contact your state board of nursing. Oftentimes, this information is available on their website or by conducting a simple Internet search.

What is a CNA?

Have you ever heard the acronym “CNA” being mentioned by people in the medical field? Have you ever wondered what a CNA is or what they do? If you have, keep reading because we’re going to take a look at that and answer some common questions about the profession.

CNA is an acronym for “Certified Nursing Assistant” which is a person who typically works on a medical staff and assists nurses and works with patients. CNAs typically go through training and also testing in order to become certified. They must meet certain standards according to the rules in the states where they live. These standards generally include attending a state-approved training program for a certain amount of time, spending some time in the field working with patients (sometimes called “clinicals”), passing a state-administered nursing test, and being listed in a directory of nursing professionals upon completion of these requirements (sometimes called a nursing registry). Depending on the state where a person lives, there may be more requirements in order to become a CNA.

Once a person is certified, they typically work in a hospital, nursing home facility, assisted living facility, or another type of health care setting. CNAs are important members of a medical team and typically work directly with patients in order to assist registered nurses and other medical staff with the care of patients. CNAs are an integral part of any medical team because they help see to it that patients get the kind of care they need on a daily basis with respect to daily living needs and other various things that patients may need help with.

CNAs may take and record patient vital signs such as blood pressure or other measurements like height, weight, body temperature, and other various things. CNAs may help dress, bathe, and transport patients with mobility problems and other issues that prevent them from doing these things by themselves. CNAs may be called upon to help with meal preparation, patient transportation, and other things depending upon the specific needs of the patients and the environment where the CNA works. A CNA who works in a hospital may have different duties from a CNA who works in a nursing home, although some of these duties may also overlap. CNAs may also do things that don’t have to do directly with patient care such as filing paperwork, ordering and organizing supplies, and other similar administrative duties.