The medical field has its own rules, procedures and culture. One of the things you will learn when you attend our CNA Schools in Houston is that there is a hierarchy to the medical team and each level has its own duties and responsibilities. Part of your education while you attend CNA school is learning where and how you fit into the team.
Patient Care Team
At the pinnacle of the team is the patient, then the doctor, then the nurse, and finally the physician assistant. As a certified nursing assistant, you are also a vital part of the team as it is your close interactions with patients that allow you to observe valuable patient information that may help improve patient care.
The Power of Observation
During your classroom sessions, you will learn the difference between subjective and objective observations. Objective observations are measurable and you gather these facts by taking a patient’s blood pressure, temperature and pulse. You will also be taught how to identify skin conditions and bruises which you may observe during patient care. Other measurable observations include blood in urine or the measurement of urine output. Subjective observations are frequently made by a patient such as feeling feverish, experiencing discomfort or not feeling well. It is a CNA’s job to accurately record patient statements so that a supervising nurse can review the statement and make an assessment whether further care is needed.
Four of your five senses play a critical role in your duties as a CNA. During your classroom and in-clinic training phases, you will be instructed to use your senses to accurately observe and record valuable information. In addition to seeing injuries or noting volumes as discussed above, you use your hands to feel a pulse, discover lumps under skin or feeling whether a patient is hot or cold. Your sense of smell will help you notice any unusual body odors. Listening to a patient’s concerns engages your sense of hearing which is also used to take blood pressure readings or to identify breathing problems such as coughing or shortness of breath. You are the eyes, ears, hands and nose of the team during the time you spent with a patient. Recording your observations accurately and timely will help your team evaluate their current course of care and make any modifications necessary in their judgement.
Working with the Nursing Process
As a CNA school graduate, you will have learned the many ways you will be called upon to assist a nurse. Nurses have a process they undertake when evaluating each new patient. It consists of five main steps which include data collection (assessment), establishing a nursing diagnosis (yes, nurses are licensed to identify certain conditions, illnesses and diseases), planning (creating a comprehensive care plan for each patient), identifying and scheduling interventions (interventions are the CNA’s main job and may consist of turning the patient, massaging, bathing, applying special lotions, etc.) and finally, the evaluation phase (has the plan worked or not).
During your training, you will learn how to accurately record data so that the supervising nurse has the information to properly evaluate how well the nursing plan is working for a particular patient. Your work is vital to the successful implementation of a nurse’s plan. The subjective information you hear from your patient and the objective data that you record for the nurse are critical elements in determining whether the plan the nurse has established for the patient has resulted in solving a patient’s health issue and alleviating their concerns.
During your school and training hours, you will learn much about the medical profession, your duties and responsibilities, and you will learn to develop the necessary skills to succeed as a certified nursing aide. What you should also know is that as an aide, you occupy a central role in patient care. While the CNA is an entry-level position in the medical field, it is not unimportant. You are involved in almost every aspect of patient care. Whether you work at a hospital, clinic, assisted living facility, hospice, or in a senior living home, your professional skills are vitally important to successful patient care.
It is no wonder, then, that the demand for CNAs is projected to grow for the foreseeable future. A good CNA will experience job security and earn the self-satisfaction that comes from doing good work in pursuit of a worthy goal. The growth in population in the Houston area as well as the aging Baby Boomer population will certainly provide many job opportunities for well-trained CNAs for years to come.
Attending our CNA school in Houston is the first step towards a life-long career in medicine. You will be surrounded with expert instructors that are specifically trained to properly train you and teach you the needed skills to become proficient at your job. You will enjoy daily interaction with classmates who share your passions and your life’s goals. Together you will embark on an exciting and personally rewarding career in the medical field.