Texas Nurse Aide Registry – Overview
A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is also called a nurse aide. They are responsible for helping patients with their daily activities and healthcare needs. These professionals work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
CAN are often called by other names, such as nursing assistant, patient care assistant or nursing aide.
Some certified nursing aides use their skills to further their career by pursuing to become an RN or LPN. In addition, some CNAs are already enrolled in a nursing school and use their present career to learn more about healthcare and get practical hands-on knowledge.
On the other hand, some individuals become CNAs to decide if they want to continue higher education in the healthcare industry.
Let’s check out how to become a nursing aide and all about the Texas nursing aide registry.
How to Become a Nursing Aide in Texas?
Certified nursing aides need to complete a state-approved training program. These CNA programs are usually attended at the local community colleges, high schools, technical or vocational schools, and the local hospital.
Most nursing programs vary from one another, so students need to research individual programs and determine the best-suited ones.
Most nursing aide programs have similar eligibility requirements before they accept applications for admission from candidates. The American Red Cross runs a CNA training program in every state. This program is 4 to 8 weeks long, depending on the location and class size.
Some of the eligibility criteria for this program include:
- Attending an orientation information session
- Verification of GED or High School Diploma or TABE (reading and math assessment)
- Red Cross criminal background check before registration
- Completing the Red Cross physical exam and TB test
The Texas Health and Human Services maintains a register/database of all nursing aides certified to practice in Texas. This is applicable if candidates want to get employed at any nursing facility or skilled nursing facility that the agency licenses.
What Does a Nursing Aide Do?
A certified nursing aide helps to run a unit smoothly. This is especially helpful for nurses with multiple complex cases to handle simultaneously.
Some of the most common tasks and responsibilities that a certified nursing aide is expected to handle are:
- Gathering supplies for the MD or RN
- Repositioning or turning patients
- Answering patient calls at the bedside
- Getting vital signs as per protocol
- Bathing patients
- Feeding patients
- Measuring and recording food and liquid intake of patients
- Documentation of information gathered
- Helping patients with hygiene care
- Stocking supplies
- Cleaning bed linen and room
- Preparing rooms for admission
- Assisting with medical procedures
- Dressing wounds
- Helping patients with the elimination
The responsibilities of nursing aides vary according to the location of employment and the level of assistance required by the nurse.
Individual states have specific regulations governing a certified nursing aide’s responsibilities, varying from state to state. The nursing aide must know their state’s guidelines and avoid doing duties outside of these.
Certified nursing aides usually work in in-patient hospitals but can also work in long-term residential facilities, adult daycare centers and rehabilitation centers. Nursing aides are not commonly employed in out-patient or clinic settings. These facilities need nursing aides to liaise between the patient and the nurse.
According to statistics by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing aide jobs are expected to grow at 8%, much faster than other jobs’ average job growth rate.
What Are the Qualities to Become a CNA?
Nursing aides should have outgoing personalities and interact with people comfortably. This is necessary for an enjoyable and fulfilling career as a nursing aide.
Some of the main qualities and features that potential nursing aides should have are:
- Effective communication skills
- Time management
- Physical strength
How Much Salary Does a Nursing Aide Earn?
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics, the average annual salary of certified nursing aides in the country is around $30,290 per year, around $14.56 per hour.
The type of clinical setting and the location have a major influence on the annual average salary of certified nursing aides.
For instance, on average, nursing aides working at a VA hospital can earn as much as $43,000 per year. On the other hand, nursing aides working at a private home health care service provider can earn about $29,280.
The Red Cross offers in-person nursing aide classes, while some vocational schools and community colleges offer online CNA programs. Many learning programs also operate clinics at the local hospital, which helps candidates get hands-on experience before getting certified as a nursing aide.