The Colorado job market is at an all time low and people are looking for fields that are not suffering from massive layoffs. Health care in Colorado has stability and is hiring. In fact, a nursing shortage exists within Colorado that should sustain growth in the industry for the next decade. According to the Center for Nursing Excellence, the demand for nursing in Colorado is fueled by health care reforms, Colorado’s growing senior populace, and the retirement of Colorado’s nurses. Nursing candidates can enter the field as a certified nursing aid, CNA, in Colorado and expect the demand for CNAs to grow by 26 percent in the next five years.
Entering the health care industry through becoming a CNA can be done with the minimal cost. Many community colleges and vocational schools in Colorado offer CNA certification programs. Most CNA programs in the state of Colorado require 107 hours of training at a community college or a vocational school. This translates into about a semester of college work. The cost of this education is from $400 to $800. The nice thing about the training is that most schools have evening classes which allow you to work while you attend classes.
Colleges traditionally offer the course work as four-credit core course that covers all the necessary information needed to pass the Colorado State Nursing Board Exams. In addition, colleges have a one-credit hour clinical course that covers hands on experience and nursing skills needed to pass the practical board exam.
In general, certified nursing aides support the nursing staff in a hospital. They are trained and tested by the Colorado Board of Nursing who also keeps a registry of all certified nurses aides. Nursing aides work in long term nursing care facilities, hospitals, and doctor offices. These trained professionals provide the basic of care to individuals. The Duties of a certified nurse’s aide depend on the setting. Hospital nurses aides do different duties then CNAs at long term facilities and doctor offices.
Basically, the nursing aid must be able to lift patients, have good people skills, and have patience and tolerance for individuals that can not care for themselves. The nursing aide works hard so that other nurses can do other tasks that require more training like administering medication, and IVs.
The CNA has the responsibility of taking the vitals on patients. The nursing aides receive training to measure blood pressure, pulse, and respiration. They then record this information on a medical chart. They are also trained to notify appropriate personnel if the vitals change. CNAs have the responsibility of vitals in all settings.
In long term facilities the nurse’s aide may assist more with moving patients so that they do not get bed soars. This requires learning to lift patients properly and learning to use lifting equipment that the facility uses. They also assist with the transfer of patient from a bed to a wheelchair. This type of lifting is prevalent in long term care facilities.
CNAs in a long term facility tend to take care of the basic needs more often, needs such as, bathing, oral hygiene, toileting and laundry issues. The nurse’s aide may also be responsible with the emotional support of residents and documenting patient care.
Nursing aides also play a major role in the rehabilitation of patients in hospital settings and long term facilities. Both facilities may have such programs. Geriatric patients and those suffering from debilitating injuries require such care.
In the end, the nursing aides in the long term care facility may have some extra duties. This translates to more pay and benefits. In some cases, large long term facilities tend to hire larger staffs and may have more CNAs employed which means more help.