Category Archives: Nursing

Certified Nursing Assistants: Who are they?

Do you have a passion for helping others? Do you have that pull in your heart whenever you see the sick and the injured? Do you have that calling to care for others? Then a job in the healthcare profession just might be the one fit for you.

You can consider the job of being a certified nursing assistant (CNA). CNAs are people who, as part of the healthcare team, provide health care services to patients and facility residents. They are also known by the terms nursing aides or orderlies. They perform and provide basic health care services to patients, with primary responsibilities such as: taking the patient’s vital signs; assisting the patients in eating, bathing and other activities of daily living; transfer the patients from the bed to the wheelchair, and vice-versa; hand out medication which may vary according to his competency and level of training; apply bandages and support materials as directed by the physician or the nurse; relay the patient’s concerns or problems to the supervising Nurse; and document the events and other activities related to the patient.

How to become one and what to expect

If you find this job appealing and that this is the job that you envision yourself to be part of in the next couple of years, then, what are you waiting for? Here are some pointers on how to become a CNA. First on the list is you need to enroll in a college or hospital offering a Certificate Program in Nursing Assistance.

Upon enrollment in this training program, you need to present your high school diploma or GED certification. Once you are enrolled in a certificate program, be prepared to be indulged in two courses: the basic patient care course and clinical externship. The first one which is taught and given by registered nurses educates you on your duties and responsibilities as a CNA (usually from 50 to 75 hours). This program covers taking vital signs, assisting the patient in bathing and eating, providing catheter care, and a lot more.

For the clinical externship part, you get to finally practice the skills and knowledge you have acquired in real-world settings. It may be done in a nursing home or a local hospital, wherein you will have a licensed supervisor as your guide in accomplishing your clinical externship requirements.


A certified nursing assistant’s job should not be taken lightly. Since they, along with other members of the health team, deal with people’s lives every day, it is required that they first must be certified prior to practice. This is to ensure they are fit and capable of doing their tasks and responsibilities. You also need to take and pass a Comprehensive examination. After all of these requirements are fulfilled and completed, you will be given state certification, and you can now fulfill your dream of helping others in need as a CNA.


Is nursing the right career for you?

Nursing is a career filled with endless personal and professional rewards. If you choose nursing, you are choosing to spend your life helping others, using skills that blend scientific knowledge with compassion and caring. There are few professions that offer such a rewarding combination of high tech and high touch.

But how do you know if this profession really is for you? Are you really fit to become a nurse?

You have a great amount of patience

Being a nurse, your patience gets to be tested numerous times. You get to encounter uncooperative patients, overly-demanding folks, grumpy doctors and many others. In order to stay in this profession, you need to be patient, and when I say patient, I mean really reallyreally patient plus understanding. Learn to know where they are coming from, what led them to act that way and try to understand it. Be patient enough to see perform your numerous tasks, patient enough to not give up on your patient, on the profession you’ve worked so hard for.

You are determined

Nursing isn’t for the weak. The road to becoming a nurse isn’t at all easy. There are tons of encounters that would leave a weak-willed person to run for the hills. You need to be able to be brave enough to face the challenges in this profession and be determined enough to succeed.

You are accepting and caring

Nurses “care”. You, as a nurse must be accepting and not discriminating. You must learn to respect the rights of others, despite their age, gender, social status, sexual orientations and beliefs. Nurses must demonstrate equal and unbiased compassion for all.

You are responsible

Unlike other professions that deal with paperwork, you as a nurse are dealing with real lives. One little mistake and you might put your patient’s life at risk. You must be responsible enough to know that every action of yours can effect to something, may it be big or small. Being an LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse), you must assume legal and ethical accountability for your actions. Also, you must respect confidentiality, use good judgment, and be loyal to patients and to the profession.

You are open to change

You must be open to whatever comes your way. As a nurse, you must be flexible and know how to act appropriately in a specific situation. You must adapt to the situation as not everything happens as exactly as what has been expected. For example, you must know how to modify patient treatment plans as indicated by patients’ responses and conditions.

You work well with others

As the saying goes, “no man is an island”. You are not alone in this profession. In order to provide quality and effective care, you must learn how to collaborate with others, may it be your co-nurses, the doctors, radiologists and other members of the healthcare team. Each of you has their own functions, their own duties, and together you complement one another.

You are eager to learn

Learning does not just end upon receiving your college diploma. As what many say, learning is a lifelong process, and in nursing you get to experience that. There will always be something you don’t know about, something to read, tons to learn. In order to cope with the growing and evolving demands in healthcare one must be motivated enough to participate in continuing education programs, research groups, seminars and the like. If you hunger for knowledge, then this might seem like heaven to you, but if you are hesitant to explore new things, then this might not be the profession for you.

Stronger economy drives more nursing turnover, higher wages

A stronger economy is increasing employee turnover rates at hospitals, particularly among nurses, and putting additional pressure on wages that are already straining hospital balance sheets.

Hospital operators around the country have been reporting increases in staffing costs, including contract labor, in the third quarter of 2015. Nursing positions have been most in demand, and the need is compounded by the increased patient volume that many health systems are seeing under the Affordable Care Act.

HCA, the largest hospital operator by revenue, last month attributed a year-over-year drop in third-quarter net income in part to increased labor costs.

“We do have an improving economy across most of HCA’s markets and we think that is having some effect on our overall labor equation,” Samuel Hazen, president of operations for the Nashville-based chain, said on an earnings call.

The company said its nursing turnover has increased to 19%, up from 17.5% in 2014. Contract labor has been used to fill the gaps.

Providence Health & Services, a Renton, Wash.-based system, similarly reported last week that it spent $85 million more than it expected on labor costs and purchased services. Contract labor was used to fill open positions at its hospitals.

Labor costs in the third quarter pressured not only acute-care hospital groups but also post-acute care operators like Kindred Healthcare, which blamed “a tightening labor market in certain regions” for driving up its third-quarter expenses.

The rising costs have come amid a hiring boom in the healthcare industry, which has added 407,000 jobs during the first 10 months of 2015. Healthcare companies shed jobs during the uncertainty in the lead-up to the Affordable Care Act, but as patient volume has returned, they’re now rushing to meet the demand.

Hospital System

The latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that average weekly earnings across all industries have increased to $869.40, up 2.2% from $850.81 during October 2014. Nurses who work in operating rooms have the highest average age, but the impact is likely to be felt across the board.

“The improved economy … is leading clinicians that postponed retirement following the credit crisis to retire and reduce shifts,” A.J. Rice, an analyst at UBS, wrote in a research note. “This is leading to gradually increasing open positions at hospitals and the willingness for more nurses to take temporary staffing assignments.”

Adapted from Original Source

New vital sign monitoring system

New Vital Sign Monitoring System may improve the care for hospitalized patients

A recent study indicated that a newly designed Vital Sign Monitoring System can improve patient safety in medical and surgical units without an abundance of unnecessary alarms.

When the system was installed for four weeks in two medical/surgical units, one in Utah and one in Alabama, 92% of the nurses agreed that the number of alarms and alerts were appropriate and 100% agreed that the monitor provided valuable patient data that increased patient safety. On average, both units experienced 10.8 alarms per patient, per day. The system continuously monitors patients’ oxygen saturation levels, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate.


“We are very excited to be using this advanced technology. Continuous monitoring of our patients is revolutionizing the way we care for our patients,” said Pam Booker, senior author of the Journal of Clinical Nursing study. “Our nurses love the ability to keep a closer eye on their patients, and this system has the ability to notify the nurses when vital signs change, no matter where they are in the hospital.”

Eight vital signs:
1. Temperature. Physiology: Controlled by AgeCore temperature differsthe hypothalamus.
2. Pulse. Physiology: Reflects circulating volume and strength of contractility.
3. Blood pressure. Physiology: Regulated by vasomotor centre in the medulla.
4. Respiratory rate. Physiology: Controlled by the respiratory centres in the medulla and pons.
5. SpO2. Physiology: Reflects the peripheral saturation of haemoglobin by O2.
6. Pain. Physiology: Detected by peripheral nerve fibers; interpreted by thalamus and cerebral cortex.
7. Level of consciousness. Physiology: Controlled by reticular activating system in the brain stem.
8. Urine output. Physiology: Produced by kidneys.

Journal reference: Journal of Clinical Nursing

“America’s nurses are the beating heart of our medical system”

Some Inspirational Quotes for Future Nurses:

Nurses are a unique kind. They have this insatiable need to care for others, which is both their biggest strength and fatal flaw. — Dr. Jean Watson

Some people think that doctors and nurses can put scrambled eggs back into the shell. — Dorothy Canfield Fisher

America’s nurses are the beating heart of our medical system. — President Barack Obama