How does one become a CNA? . . . What signs does life give you that this is your path? . . . What does the journey to Certified Nursing Assistant look like in GIFs?
We have the answers . . .
1. Even as a child, you were displaying signs of your coming CNA greatness.
2. But maybe you didn’t exactly figure out your career path right away.
3. One day, it hits you! You’re meant to care! You’re meant for a CNA job!
4. CNA school begins and at first you’re like . . .
5. But then you’re a little more like . . .
4. After a full day of work and CNA classes . . .
5.Yet one fine day, you pass the state exam.
6. And your career begins!
Need more GIFs? Check out The Experience of CNA School (in GIFs)
Fun fact: Every time I write a state caregiver training blog, I sing through a state song I learned in 5th grade to figure out which state is next alphabetically.
This week (according the the song), we’re onto Ohio Caregiver Training! As part of our mission to inform all our readers of the ins and outs of the countries various caregiver training laws, we are going through state by state detailing the specific requirements of each. So, without further ado -Ohio Caregiver Training.
Ohio’s homemaker aides are required by law to complete 20 hours of topic specific training at the start of their careers, and the must continue to complete 8 hours of CE annually.
State Tested Nurse Aides (aka CNAs in Ohio) must complete a state-approved program and 12 hours of CEs each year.
That’s it for now! Next week . . . Oklahoma! 15 more to go!
Recently, scientists at Pennsylvania State University have studied the effects of caring for family members with dementia on stress levels, by examining the level of cortisol in caregivers throughout the week. Cortisol is a hormone that fluctuates with stress – it’s the “fight or flight” hormone. Researchers wanted to know the effects of taking a day off from a caregiver job by utilizing adult day care facilities. Generally, studies showed that cortisol returned to healthy levels on the days the caregivers’ “off” days. Read more about the experiment and its results here.
So, what’s the implication for people with caregiver jobs?
First of all, family caregivers – recognize that being a caregiver is not easy and that you need a break every once in a while, for the sake of your mental health. This might mean having another family member step in once a week to give you a break, or it could mean finding a local adult day care for your loved one to attend one or two days a week.
Secondly, this study shows interesting insight into the growth of adult day care jobs. In order for these facilities to run smoothly, they need professional caregivers who know how to assist patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, those who use a wheelchair, or who have all kinds of specific needs. Adult day care jobs are on the rise, and provide a new and exciting way to put your caregiver skills to use. Now you can add the option of adult day care to the growing list of locations with caregiver jobs: nursing homes, hospitals, home care, hospice, and assisted living communities.
To learn more about adult day care jobs and what they’re like, read our blog called Up and Coming: Adult Day Care Jobs.
We often hear about all the places where one can work as a caregiver – home care, hospice, assisted living, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. One lesser mentioned setting for caregiver jobs is the adult day care center.
An adult day care center is a place where families can bring their loved ones for a day (typically between 9-5) and get a much-needed break. Seniors can participate in a plethora of activities, socialize, and eat healthy meals, all under the careful supervision of caregivers.
Today, adult day care jobs are on the rise as family caregivers realize that can’t go it alone. Many people opt to bring their loved one to adult day care once or twice a week in order to have the time to take care of personal business and just have a relaxing break. That’s where caregivers step in to help!
Working at an adult day care center offers caregivers the opportunity to interact with lots of patients in just one day. Caregivers at adult day care centers have to be energetic and quick to adapt, since one day is never the same as the next. People with these adult day care jobs must be outgoing, friendly, patient, and excellent at “keeping their cool.”
As always, we want you input. Have you had experience working an adult day care job? Comment and tell us about it!
Want to know more about other places to find caregiver jobs? Check out our recent blog on In-Home Caregiver Jobs and learn more about the benefits of caring for clients in their own turf.
Okay, I have to own up to a bad pun right at the start of this blog. When I said “Five Cool Caregiver Job Activities” I meant both cool as in fun, and cool as in not hot. So I’m sorry if you’re of the opinion that pun is the lowest form of wit. But it’s true – in the summertime it’s important to have fun AND keep your client from overheating! (See our blog called Summertime Heatwaves.) That’s why I’ve compiled a list of five caregiver job activities you can do with your client to stay busy and cool.
1. Take a swim! If you’ve got a local public pool or a YMCA, a nice swim can be a great way to cool down in the hot weather. Or don’t even swim! Just sit in the cool water and sip some lemonade or read a book. Whatever floats your boat. (Get it?! Cause we’re talking about water? Oof.)
2. Plan a day trip to an indoor attraction, such as a museum or a music hall. Make sure it’s air conditioned though.
3. Head to a bookstore. If your client likes to read, this is a good one! You can sit in their big comfy chairs, order an iced coffee, and read a book (that you don’t have to pay for).
4. Check out courses available through your local recreation center. You might find art classes, languages lessons, computer classes, or who knows what. Plus, you get to stay indoors!
5. Ask your client to teach you something. It could be a recipe, a craft, a language – anything! Let them choose. This lets you stay busy and inside the cool house.
There are tons and tons of other caregiver job activities that would work even during the hottest days. Find more of them in the Caregiver Activity Guide.
Being a caregiver can be exhausting. It’s a lot of physical, emotional, and mental energy spent every day on someone other than yourself. Sometimes the demands become so much, that caregivers burnout – they just reach a point where they can’t go on. Most often, this happens to family caregivers, who are the sole caretaker of a relative. For these folks, there are no breaks and you never truly leave your caregiver job.
Luckily, this problem has been recognized by some organizations and politics and in Easton, PA, it’s getting some real attention. Sen. Bob Casey unveiled a bill on Aug. 26 to create a Caregiver Corps to “help those who help others.” The bill would have the Department of Health and Human Services organize groups of local volunteers to assist family caregivers by giving much-needed breaks. This group of volunteers would receive caregiver training from the Department of Health and Human Services and would then be qualified to help out family caregivers.
The bill is still waiting to be approved by lawmakers, but you can read more here.
This is exciting news! We love to see favorable laws for caregivers in the making. This story not only provides us with hope for the future, it reminds us to guard ourselves against caregiver burnout. Take care of yourself and watch out for your soul – you’ll be much happier and more effective in your caregiver job!
Just yesterday I was listening to This American Life, the NPR program that picks a topic and tells stories and anecdotes that go along with the theme of the show. This particular episode, Magic Words, told a story of a woman with a family caregiver job. Karen Stobbe and her husband cared for her mother, who was suffering from dementia. After years of frustrating and fruitless attempts to keep her mother in the present by reminding her of reality, the couple began to search for another solution.
While perusing the internet for answers, Stobbe found the advice to “step into their world,” and immediately she was able to make a connection between caring for her mom and improv, a hobby of both her and her husband. Stobbe and her husband stopped correcting the elderly lady when she entered into another reality, and instead they entered it with her. The story continues to highlight the success of considering their caregiver job a form of improv. Stobbe’s mother became less irritable and more at ease in the home, and the Stobbes were able to enjoy being present with their mother.
Alzheimer’s CNA jobs are never easy, whether you’re a family caregiver of a professional. They require a lot of physical, mental and emotional energy. There are many theories about how best to help Alzheimer’s and dementia patients cope with their condition, but this improv technique is new and interesting. You can read more about the recent discoveries of improv therapy in this ABC News article or this NPR article.
Looking for activities to help you step into your client’s world? Check out our Caregiver Activity Guide where you’ll find 50 great caregiver job activities to help you be in the moment and care for your client.
Has the summer heat got you and your client feeling dull and lethargic? Even caregiver jobs have their seasons. We’ve got some fresh and healthy summer beverage ideas to invigorate both you and your client! Plus, it’s a fun thing to learn with your client and do together. Try these out on a day when it’s over 80 degrees and mostly sunny.
Regular Sun Tea -
5 tea bags of your favorite flavor – (I recommend fruity flavors for summer!)
4 cups of water
1. Take a clean, glass pitcher and fill it with 4 cups of cold water.
2. Add the tea bags to the water. If you like stronger tea, put a few more tea bags in.
3. Place the container directly in the sunlight and let sit for 2-4 hours.
4. After 2-4 hours, remove tea bags. Add honey or sugar to taste. Serve over ice. Enjoy!
Protip: Sometimes I make black sun tea and add mint leaves! It’s delicious. You can do the same with other types of herbs. Other times, I have a fresh lemon to squeeze into my glass of ice-cold tea.
Always remember, it’s safety first in every caregiver job. Be aware of your client’s dietary restrictions before you serve him/her anything.
For more summertime caregiver info – check out our blog Be Aware of Summer Burnout!
Let’s face it, the caregiver job world is one filled with various acronyms, and it’s hard to keep them all straight. In the CNA job world, there are a few different titles you may hear for a nurse’s aide. Here are a few terms that all refer to the same CNA job, but use different words.
Nurse’s Aide / Nurse’s Assistant – This is obviously not an acronym, but many employers will simply ask for nurse’s aide or nurse’s assistant when referring to someone who has passed a state-approved CNA school and state-issued exam to master the skills of assisting an RN or LPN in a care facility.
CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant / Certified Nurse Aide) – This is the most common title for a nurse aide. Majority of states in the US use the title Certified Nursing Assistant and therefore most employers will have openings for “CNA jobs.”
STNA (State Tested Nursing Assistant) – You’ll see this term only in the state of Ohio, where they refer to CNAs as STNAs. They are exactly the same position, the only difference is that STNAs are certified in OH.
LNA (Licensed Nursing Assistant) – New Hampshire refers to their nurse aides as LNAs rather than CNAs or STNAs. If you take a nurse aide course and pass the exam in NH, you are called an LNA rather than a CNA.
Wondering about the difference between CNAs and CMAs? Well, that’s a bit different. Read our blog CMA vs CNA for answers!
What In The World Is An LNA Job?
I received a truly great question the other day – what in the world in an LNA job? A good question – and one that I didn’t know the answer to for a while, so you’re not alone.
First thing’s first – LNA stands for Licensed Nursing Assistant and it’s nearly the same thing as a CNA. The only difference is that an LNA is exclusive to the state of New Hampshire, where they’ve decided to give out licenses under this title, rather than CNA.
An LNA job, is therefore almost exactly the same as a CNA job. The only difference is that LNA jobs are located in NH and you must have attended a state-approved nurse aide program and have a license from NH to practice.
Not so confusing after all! To clear up other confusing caregiver job acronyms, read our blog called CMA vs CNA.
North Dakota Fun Fact: Rugby, ND is the geographical center of North America!
We’re moving through all fifty states on a mission to unveil the mysteries of each state’s caregiver training requirements. This week, we discuss North Dakota Caregiver Training and highlight the requirements for all kinds of caregivers.
First off, in-home care aides or caregivers must ensure core competency in specific topics, based on their agencies and clients. For example, someone with a caregiver job in the home of a senior must have a complete knowledge of how to properly assist with ambulation. This is something that will be observed and monitored by the hiring agency.
North Dakota Caregiver Training also states that Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) must enroll in and complete a state-approved CNA school, where they’ll learn the basics of nursing and patient care. After graduating, CNAs must continue to complete 12 hours of CEs annually in order to stay certified to work CNA jobs.
As far as state requirements go, that’s it for North Dakota! Interested in CNA school? Check out our blog CNA School – What Will You Learn? to discover the basic curriculum for great CNA programs.