How I Became a Certified Nursing Assistant
December 12, 2011
While attending church one Sunday, a lady asked me to work for her as a sitter. She was a social worker who ran a small business out of her home. I remember her words :“You have the personality for this type of work; I think you’ll be great.” That’s how I first entered this field.
After a few years as a sitter, which requires no license, I trained to become a Certified Nurse Technician. Another name for it is Certified Nurse Assistant or CNA. We’re also called “techs.” Certification enables you to work in hospitals, nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, jails, hospice and agencies.
My training was at a nursing home, 40 hours a week for 4 weeks. I had a great instructor and the work was intensive. At the end of the training, a state examiner came to test each student’s skill knowledge. I renew my license every 2 years, and keep my tuberculosis skin test and CPR certification current.
Observance is key in the medical field! The type of equipment that ALL medical workers use is our ears and eyes. The types and use of other equipment used depends on where you work. In a hospital, you’ll use various machines to monitor blood pressure, vital signs and you’re taught how to measure the output of body fluids. Although the nurse may be responsible, you always need to know how to take the pulse rate.
Twelve-hour shifts are normally worked in facilities. In a person’s home you may work 4-6 hours, this has a lot to do with medical insurance rules. A workday usually starts by assessing the patient’s mental and physical condition, hygiene needs, dressing and meals being served. Although a tech is not a housekeeper, you must keep the patient’s bed and immediate environment clean. This is one way to break the chain of infection and keep diseases from spreading.
What I like best about being a tech is helping people achieve the highest quality of life possible. What I dislike is the high number of patients that may be given to a tech. I prefer home health because you work with one patient.
Mary Simmons is originally from Detroit and has 5 children. She became a Certified Nursing Assistant in 1998; she felt it was her calling. Mary will be returning to school to become a Social Worker. Her hobbies are crochet and reading mysteries. She also enjoys reading the Bible. She finds that in this line of work, the Bible helps her to help others.