What is a CNA?

March 25, 2021
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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When it comes to choosing a career path, healthcare always seems like a practical choice. After all, it’s an industry that will always be in demand, no matter where in the world you are. However, not everyone has the desire, resources, or the time to become a doctor — which can make nursing a more appealing option — especially if you want to start working sooner and have a more flexible schedule. But with so many different options — RN, LPN, and CNA — it may be confusing trying to understand what each of them entails. While being a Registered Nurse or a Licensed Nurse Practitioner are excellent choices for many individuals, there’s also the option of becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant.

What is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)?

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) — sometimes called nursing assistant, patient care assistant, or nurse’s aid — works under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Their role is an entry-level position and primarily provides assistance and support to their healthcare supervisor. These duties include:

  • Perform all personal care activities contained in a written assignment by the Registered Nurse (RN). This may include — but is not limited to — assisting the patient or client with personal hygiene, ambulation, eating, dressing, shaving, and physical transfer.
  • Maintain a clean, safe, and healthy environment. This may include light cleaning and straightening of the bathroom, sleeping, and living areas, washing the patient’s or client’s dishes or laundry, and such tasks to maintain cleanliness and safety for the patient or client.
  • Measuring intake and output of fluids, and measure temperature, pulse, respiration, or blood pressure.
  • Keep records of personal health care activities.
  • Observe appearance and gross behavioral changes in the patient or client, then reporting to the Registered Nurse (RN).

While CNAs are able to work at hospitals, they also find employment prospects in long-term care settings, such as assisted living facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and home health care. In addition, even though CNAs do not diagnose conditions or provide medical treatment, they are essential for the overall well-being of patients — by ensuring that the patient is comfortable and making their day-to-day as pleasant as possible, which is crucial in patient care. Being a CNA can also be a starting point that can lead to additional opportunities in healthcare.

How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant

The reason why the healthcare duties of a CNA are limited in comparison with a registered nurse and licensed practical nurses is because the educational requirements are less rigorous and can be completed in several months — making it a viable way to fast-track your career in healthcare. You can take these classes at a community college or by enrolling in online courses. Just make sure that whichever program you decide to enroll in meets the requirements established by the Florida Department of Education.

The training must be accredited by the state of Florida and you must complete an in-person clinical requirement — which you will do under the guidance of a healthcare professional and will provide you with hands-on experience. You will also be required to pass a certification exam. During the certification period, you’ll take courses in medical terminology, anatomy, and pharmacology. This will make it easier to communicate with nurses and doctors, and better understand patients’ needs.

CNA Careers at Care Options for Kids

At Care Options for Kids, you can choose to work with adult or pediatric patients — and you’ll work as part of a team. We strive to make the experience as positive as possible by matching our caregivers with clients’ specific needs and personalities. In addition, we offer employee benefits that are based on certain measurement periods and are available to eligible/qualifying employees. They are provided to assist in managing the health of you and your family. These include:

  • Paid time off
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • 401K savings plan with company match
  • Other voluntary products
  • Weekly pay
  • Flexible schedules
  • 24/7 on-call for support
  • Flexible schedule

If You’re Looking for A Career as a CNA, Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care

If you’re a CNA licensed in the state of Florida, and you’re looking for career opportunities in a home health care setting, we’d love to hear from you. Visit our jobs page or contact us at (888) 592-5855 for more information.