Specific skills to become a CNA

Posted on Sep 20, 2010 in CNA Training

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) works under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. To become a CNA, there is very specific training a student must undergo.

There are two primary ways a student can learn . First, the student can complete a CNA training program through a technical school. Upon completion, the student must take and pass a state exam to become a CNA. A student can also learn CNA skills as part of a fundamentals class in RN or LPN nursing programs. Once this fundamentals class is complete, the student can contact her state’s health department and inquire about any alternate route programs to become a CNA.

Some of the basic skills a must know before even learning patient care include handwashing, bedmaking, and medical math calculations. Once these skills are mastered, a student then begins to learn basic patient care. This would entail giving a patient a shower or bed bath, providing perineal care, feeding a patient, and performing oral hygiene on a patient.

As the student becomes more proficient, higher certified nursing assistant skills can be taught such as taking vital signs: blood pressure, temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate. Not only must the student learn how to take vital signs, but also use judgment when taking vital signs. For example, a student should wait at least 30 minutes after a patient drank hot or cold liquids before taking his temperature for a more accurate reading.

Safety is essential for students learning certified nursing assistant skills. How can a patient be moved from bed to chair safely to avoid injury to both CNA and patient? Does the patient have his call bell within reach in case of emergency? Along with safety, a CNA also learns how to perform Range of Motion exercises so patients can increase muscle tone, keep joints flexible, and improve circulation.

Finally, there is the artful skill of communication. Are you communicating to your patients who you are and what you are about to do? Do you respect your patient’s wishes and right to privacy regarding his health status? Are you non-judgmental towards your patients beliefs? Does your patient feel comfortable with telling your information about his health?

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