The aging population in the US means that there’ll be a high demand for certified nursing assistants (CNAs). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the entire sector is expected to grow by 8% by 2029. However, recruiting well-trained CNAs has been an issue for decades.
The issue just gets worse as the covid-19 pandemic leads to a further shortage of CNAs. Life as a CNA isn’t easy since these professionals don’t get paid too much. Nevertheless, they have a critical role in helping patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab centers.
So, how can you hire certified nursing assistants that can assist you with the job? We’ll discuss the top 10 things that you should consider when hiring a nursing assistant.
Hiring a Nursing Assistant: 10 Things to Look For
Just like any other occupation in the medical field, you need to go through tests and take relevant certificates to become a CNA. Therefore, it is best to take a free CNA practice test to be fully prepared. That being said, here are the ten things a recruiter should look for when hiring a CNA.
- Licenses and Certifications
Firstly, the CNA you plan to hire should have the relevant licenses and certifications. The CNAs need to pass their state’s board of nursing as well as the licensing exam. Additionally, there would be some other training programs that might be necessary, depending on the hospitals or nursing homes.
According to the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), there are a few programs for CNAs. This is the most imperative part when it comes to recruiting certified nursing assistants. Taking a free CNA practice test can give prospective CNAs a better chance to pass the real test.
- Essential Job Skills
Besides the licenses and certifications, CNAs also need to have the relevant skills to perform their duties. Most importantly, they need to have the capability to perform tasks that will provide relief to the patients.
They should have the skills to provide care and assistance for the patient’s day-to-day activities. Also, it will ensure that the CNAs can help the medical professionals to perform their duties in a better way.
- Education and Training
Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant requires you to go through certain training programs. CNAs have to go through the training of 75 hours and then pass the state exam to become qualified professionals.
Taking a CNA practice exam can assist individuals with the final test. Additionally, the CNAs should also complete specific certifications like Basic Life Support. Some states also have further requirements like stamina evaluation, background checks, etc.
The core responsibilities and the venue will impact whether you should hire candidates with or without any experience. For instance, hospitals would require CNAs to have some sort of work experience to be eligible for the position.
On the other hand, nursing homes might not require you to have any experience. They can give you the relevant training to complete your duty, provided that you have all the certificates and licenses.
- Knowledge about Equipment and Tools
Whether working in a hospital or a nursing home, CNAs would come across various medical tools and types of equipment. Therefore, they need to have complete knowledge about using these types of equipment.
Furthermore, they should know how to transport any medical tools or equipment from one place to another. Also, the CNAs should know how to clean the tools so they are ready for use.
- Care Methods
Patients in nursing homes might feel lonely, which can affect their mental well-being. That is where the CNAs should use the right care methods that will allow them to provide holistic care.
They can help patients to deal with loneliness and depression by actively listening to them. As a result, it can assist elderly patients to express their feelings.
- Dietary Support and Care
Most healthcare facilities require CNAs to give patients their meals. Therefore, they should have a complete understanding of how to deliver meals to them.
In addition to that, some patients might require assistance since they might not be able to feed themselves. So, the CNAs should also help such patients by feeding them.
- Evaluation and Monitoring Skills
Elderly patients might exhibit some symptoms or might have slight changes in their conditions. The CNAs must monitor and evaluate these changes in the initial stages. This way, they can report these symptoms or changes to medical professionals.
Missing out on such changes can lead to further complications for patients, especially older ones. Therefore, you need to assess the evaluation and monitoring skills when hiring certified nursing assistants.
- Should Be Compassionate and Empathetic
Working as CNA might get challenging since individuals would have to deal with elderly patients. Not just that, but they would also have to handle the families of the patients. Also, elderly patients might require more assistance in their day-to-day activities.
Nevertheless, they should be compassionate about their work. They must treat the patients and their families with respect and empathy. Most importantly, they should be emotionally stable to deal with the challenges that they might encounter on their job.
- Time Management Skills
Lastly, certified nursing assistants should have the ability to manage their time efficiently. They need to take care of their tasks and complete all of their work within the allocated time. There is no knowing when there might be an emergency, especially if you’re working in a hospital.
Therefore, CNAs need to have the skills to manage their time efficiently. This way, they can have some additional time in case of an emergency.
It is essential to hire competent and highly skilled certified nursing assistants. They’ll be dealing with the patients directly, which can have a significant impact on their health and well-being. So, it is important to keep the things mentioned in this article in mind when hiring CNAs.