In the United States of America, the federal authorities were very specific about the safeguard of public health and welfare through safe and competent nursing practice. In order to protect the health of citizens, the congress has passed a legislation known as OBRA-87 (Omnibus Reconciliation Act) that sets the standard for the nurse aide education and practice.
The federal OBRA has mandated every state to provide minimum 75 hours Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs (NATCEPs) and evaluate the competency level of the candidates through the Competency Evaluation Programs (CEP). The federal regulation further requires that only these candidates must be allowed to work in varied health care settings who have earned certification by passing CEP and got listed with the state Nurse Aide Registry.
Certified Nursing Assistant Duties
The nurse aide training program (NATP) provides the necessary nursing knowledge and skills that are essential for executing safe and quality Certified Nursing Assistant Duties in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, physician’s office, hospice, home health agencies, adult care centers and mental care centers.
The primary duties and responsibilities of nurse aide include:
Basic nursing skills - prepares the student for counting, measuring and recording vitals, measuring fluid intake and output, measure and record height and weight, clean and bandage, safety, Therapeutic/Technical Procedures and others.
Infection Control – The skill of Infection control assists the nurse aide to prevent the spread of the infection in and around the health care facility through various measures.
Data Collection and Reporting – the knowledge and skills of Data Collection and Reporting helps the CNAs to collect the various nursing and treatment related data such as patient’s symptoms, history, diagnosis, and treatment and record and documents them for reporting to RN or the physician.
Emergency Care skills and CPR- the possession of CPR certificate and emergency care skills assists the nurse aides to take emergency steps to save the life of a severely injured or cardiac arrest victim when required.
Medical Terminology - The knowledge of the medical words, phrases, symbols, and abbreviations that forms Medical terminology helps the CNAs to communicate with nurses and physicians or while recording patient data of patient’s symptoms, history, diagnosis, and treatment procedures.
Communication skills – helps the nurse assistants to educate patient on the treatment procedures, offering mental and emotional support to patients and families and while communicating, reporting and appraising the condition of the patient to RNs and physicians.
Personal care knowledge helps CNAs to provide varied personal cares that relate to Activities of Daily Living such as Hygiene, Dressing, Undressing and Grooming, Nutrition and Hydration, movement of patients by walking and wheelchair or stretcher, washing, feeding and drinking and others.
In addition, the Nurse aide must also respect the rights and independence of the residents, work under the supervision of a RN or Physician and report the condition of the patient to them, provide mental health cares, offer restorative cares, attend call lights and execute additional duties.
It must also be remembered that the duties of a nurse aide varies differently in different facilities. For example, a nurse aide working in hospital has separate duties than working in nursing homes. Similarly, a CNA execute separate duties than a nurse aide working in schools as a school nurse aide.
But, it is also essential that working in any type of facility, a CNA must possess compassionate nature, humble nature, amicable behavior, and must be able to form strong bond with the long term care residents.