Health care is a fast-growing industry, and nurse aides are in high demand. Most states and localities require nurse aides to be certified. As the name implies, a State-Tested Nursing Assistant, or STNA, is one that has been tested and certified. An STNA has the opportunity to work in several challenging and rewarding health care areas.
Patient Care Assistant
An STNA working as a patient care assistant generally works in a hospital or outpatient facility, and is responsible for the general care of patients. They work under the guidance of the nursing or medical staff, and are often in close contact with patients. Although the duties often include general tasks of feeding, bathing and grooming patients, this position may also be responsible for more critical responsibilities, such as the assessment and recording of vital signs, and collecting specimens.
Assisted Living Facility
STNAs are in high demand at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The STNA works under the direction of the nursing staff to provide for the resident patient's physical and emotional well-being. This type health care position calls for a caring and patient individual, properly trained to work with the elderly, or individuals who cannot live independently.
Home Health Aide
An STNA is a good candidate for the home health aide position. The home health aide generally works for a home health agency under the direction of a social worker, registered nurse or other health care professional. Duties include providing in-home personal and health-related care to individuals who require assistance beyond the capabilities of family or friends. The STNA working in this position is required to record services delivered, as well as the patient's condition, and provide progress reports to the case manager or supervisor.
One of the more physically and emotionally demanding jobs for an STNA is caring for the terminally ill. This care is provided under the direction of professional medical staff in either a hospice facility or the home of the patient. Since many patients are not ambulatory, the STNA may be required to lift or carry the patient. The emotional demands of working with the dying exact a heavy toll on some people. The job itself is to provide personal and health-related care in an attempt to keep the patient as comfortable as possible on the end of life's journey.
With some additional training and clinical laboratory internship, an STNA can work as a clinical assistant. Duties of this position may include basic laboratory testing under the supervision of a medical technologist, laboratory technician or pathologist. The clinical assistant may collect and process blood specimens and perform basic chemistry, hematology and microbiology testing, as well as urinalysis.
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