Nurse’s aides can be thought of as an extension of the eyes and ears of nurses. Because caring for patients is a multi-layered process, involving tasks ranging from the routine and mundane to more complex medical practices, several specialties have emerged. The nurse’s aid needs to be able to perform some basic tasks such as feeding, meal preparation, administering of medication, handling bedpans, aiding patients pass stool, helping patients into and out of wheel chairs and onto gurneys. The monitoring and recording of vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, weight and height and informing nurses or doctors of changes in the patient’s condition are all tasks expected to be fulfilled. An individual with specialized knowledge on how to carry out bladder scans, perform EKG, bladder scans and for patients requiring oxygen, adjust the oxygen flow rate, increases their bargaining power when asking for remuneration.
In cases where the change in patient’s condition is sudden and life threatening, a split second decision may need to be made and the ability to carry out some emergency procedures, for example, cardio pulmonary resuscitation or CPR, is essential. Other emergencies near the patient, may occur and the knowledge of fire, flood and other similar procedures, as they may pertain to individual patient needs, is essential.
To enter a training program to become a certified nurse’s aide, requires that you hold a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. Most training is carried out in community colleges and medical facilities such as nursing colleges or schools. The average training period lasts between six and twelve weeks and involves both classroom and clinical practice.
Course content during the training period usually comprises of basic nursing, anatomy, infection control and physiology. Courses average a tuition cost in the range of US$ 400 to US$ 800. There is a staffing shortage for in the nursing field as the population is aging and as a result, training scholarships programs are being offered by recruiting agencies and hospitals. The objective that these bodies have in mind is quite obvious. By investing in training, the pool of qualified and motivated practitioners will grow and give the benefactors more options to recruit from.
Surveys have shown that the average certified nursing aide’s earnings are in the range of US$ 24,000 TO US$ 30,000 annually. Those with more years of experience or that have been employed at more prestigious facilities in their career, have been known to command earnings of US$ 32,000 or more.
In some cases, this role is used as a stepping stone to becoming a registered nurse. It has been said that some of the best registered nurses started their careers as certified nursing assistants. To find out more about this field, you may ask at your local medical facilities, nurse training schools and or recruitment offices. Patient care is wide and multi-layered and of recent, has developed a need for this unique member of the medical profession.