Nursing homes go relatively forgotten in our modern society, as news revolves around international and domestic politics and the sensational stories in entertainment. However, the conditions of our nation’s nursing homes are a news story in themselves as there have been rising accounts of patient abuse and many statistics that indicate overcrowding in public nursing homes. While these numbers have slowly been recognized by Congress, they continue to be a large problem in our society, although Certified Nursing Assistants prove to hold valuable skills in updating our nursing home system.
While nursing assistants are given relatively few responsibilities, they can prove to be a vital source of care in nursing homes, where patients need constant round-the-clock care, although not necessarily health-related. Nursing assistants can do little more than provide basic patient care, a skill which is in heavy demand in most nursing homes. Many patients in nursing homes simply require attention and care without any medical procedures that registered nurses are qualified to do. As a result, many nursing assistants are therefore hired to help monitor patients, change their sheets, check on their vitals, and other similar tasks. Registered nurses are a vital aspect of nursing homes as well, but are not needed for many of these smaller tasks, and can therefore cater more exclusively to those patients who need urgent care.
Nursing homes are on the downward trend not only because of lack of attention, but also because of inadequate attention. Many workers in nursing homes are not qualified to administer any type of health-related care and end up injuring the patients more often than helping them. Many of these injuries go largely unreported and end up proving to be fatal, especially when dealing with patients who are already frail. CNA certification students have the qualities necessary to provide better patient care while still remaining within national budgets for nursing homes. The government has been hesitant to set a minimum staffing requirement for nursing homes, and justifiably so. Nurses and nursing assistants provide the basic levels of care to patients, and restricting the amount of staff in nursing homes would only add to the problem of overcrowding and inadequate care.
CNA certification allows students the opportunity to make a sizeable difference in the health care community through their ability to assist patients and free up nurses for more urgent cases. Nursing home stories are so often ones which get brushed under the carpet, but with the added help of certified nursing assistants, our nation will be able to get rid of these horror stories and clean up our nursing home system.