The demand for certified nursing aide, CNA, in Colorado will peak in the next ten years. Great demands will be placed on community colleges, vocational and nursing schools to churn out CNAs as fast as possible. These demands are based on statistics that demonstrate that the senior population will double in ten years as a product of more baby boomers retiring. Also state and federal insurance reforms will place more patients in the insurance pool. All these factors suggest long term care facilities will be hiring well past 2020 in Colorado.
Long term health care facilities, LTC, currently number around 500 in the state of Colorado. These types of facilities are the major sources of hiring for CNAs. Seniors are the patients that stay at these facilities. Most facilities will be expanding in the near future to accommodate more seniors.
A CNA at a LTC facility usually has an eight hour shift. CNAs can expect to lift a lot of patients during their day. A CNA working the night shift might have to transfer all the patients for transport because of a planned activity. CNAs move patients routinely in and out of bed to be fed. Other examples of lifting could be to prevent bedsores, to move a patient to the bathroom for bathes or toileting and finally just to take patients to a doctor’s appointment.
Vitals are taken at least daily at an LTC. Vitals are respiration, blood pressure, temperature and pulse rate. These signs are important in the care of patients. A CNA is trained to report any change in vitals to the supervising nurse.
At an LTC the CNA takes care of the basic needs of the patients to free up the more highly skilled nurses for other patient care needs. Emotional support of patients plays an important role in the care of patients at an LTC. It is important for the CNA to bond with the patient and have good people skills. A CNA has more exposure to the patient than any other health care worker and this places the nursing aide in position to catch any subtle changes in a patient that might go unnoticed in the form of vitals.
A CNA is a trained professional that has a minimum of 107 hours of instruction in Colorado. Most course work and programs can be found at community colleges, and vocational and nursing schools. All students need to take course work approved by the Colorado Board of Nursing. Accelerated programs can be completed in as short as four weeks. Some community colleges offer coursework that can be completed in a semester. Course work ranges in cost from $400 to $800. Salaries for a CNA range form $20,000 to $26,000 a year.
The jobs are here now. The nursing shortage in Colorado is here and professional nurses are needed to fill positions now. Become a nurse and be part of one of the few industries in the nation that has not stopped hiring.