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Everything You Need to Know About Your Professional Caregiver

By Mike Takieddine

When caught in the sudden need to get a caregiver for your loved one, you can hardly be expected to know much about the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) that the agency will send you. You will therefore find in these few lines good information about the CNA who’ll be knocking at your door.

CNAs are the backbone of home care agencies, their flexibility and multiple talents make them ideal companions and personal assistants for seniors living at home.

Companions, Homemakers and Personal Assistants

As companions and homemakers, they keep good company. They watch TV with Mom, take Mom to church or a mall when feasible; they attend to all the house chores, including shopping and meal preparation, and they become Mom’s ears and voice, answering the phone and maintaining important social relations with family and friends.

As Personal Assistants, they focus on Mom’s personal hygiene, grooming, bathing, transferring, medication reminders and other similar “hands-on” tasks.

CNAs have a life away from their patients; they have husbands and children –also ex-husbands, boyfriends, and the like. While they look after your Mom, they may even have a hired babysitter or neighbor to look after a sick child or husband of their own.

Professional Caregivers are Proud Individuals

The first thing to do is to avoid stereotyping them, for they arrive at your doorstep with different talents and mindsets and from highly divergent backgrounds. Today’s CNA is an accomplished, vetted, certified, accredited, insured, TB vaccinated, CPR qualified woman, frequently on her way to further nursing accomplishments. They are proud that they got it all together and managed to get certified. They perform a vital function with our seniors and that, above all, is their prime source of fulfillment. That is what keeps them going in work environments that can frequently turn very stressful and challenging.

The best thing you can do for you CNA is show her respect and kindness and help her with Mom if Mom becomes difficult in older age.

What Does “Certification” Mean?

A typical CNA would have worked first as a non-certified companion in people’s homes. To get certified, she would have had to join a nursing academy or community college that teaches nursing classes. The accomplishment on the road to certification starts with a CNA having to take the time, about 75 hours on average, lasting usually two months or more, and incurred the expense, about $1,200, for specialized schooling (followed, in most states, by a state exam and State certification).

In all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia, the ultimate objective is for an aide to get on the State Aide Registry of the State where she wants to work. This usually happens after passing the state exam, although in some states, the only exam the aide needs to pass is the one given by the academy where studies were completed.

The following is a table depicting requirements for certification. Georgia is listed as a typical State.

Steps for complying with Federal and State requirements in Georgia

Have a question? Call the Allheal Home Health

business manager at (936) 756-1111

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