Once you’ve got your basic certification as a nursing assistant, there are still more skills that can give your earning power a boost. These additional talents and abilities might take some extra time and energy to achieve, but the benefit they bring to your job will add up over the long term. Every little bit counts, so bring as much to the table as an employee and you will definitely see rewards in the future.
Wound Care Experience
One of the more specialized fields for nursing assistants and their supervising nurses is wound care. Wound care requires a specific certification that is only offered to registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and other medical professionals. Even though it is not offered for CNAs, there will be at least one wound care nurse in your healthcare setting. These nurses need assistance treating their patients and this is the prime role for a CNA looking for experience with wound care. Ask your supervisor if you can lend a hand and soon you will have more experience than the average nursing assistant.
Restorative care is a specific type of treatment for patients that are in need of physical rehabilitation. There are several ways to be trained in this type of care, including on-the-job training, specialized courses, or certification. Restorative care is becoming more and more important in nursing homes because of the new incentives for improving physical ability for residents. As such, your supervisors will be very happy to have a restorative aide on their team.
EKG or ECG Reading
EKG reading is a skill that is specific to the hospital setting for CNAs. The electrocardiogram machine is used in hospitals to take electrical readings of the heart. This is not done in many long term care centers. But if you want to strengthen your application to a hospital, you can get EKG reading skills in advance. Classes are offered with a certificate from many institutions, including the American Heart Association.
The healthcare setting serves all comers, making for a very diverse population of residents and patients. Knowing a second language can make you very valuable to your employer, especially if you speak the predominant language of the community. Spanish, Polish, Chinese, and Korean represent some of the broadest minority groups that are seen in healthcare settings.
Many patients in long term care centers are not only suffering from physical debilities, but also mental and emotional problems. Psychiatric experience is a very strong indicator of a calm and responsible CNA because psychiatric patients are among the most challenging in healthcare. Disorders like dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other cognitive issues can cause many problems if not dealt with properly. Having the experience to diffuse and remedy situations with psychiatric patients is very valuable to employers, as experience will always be the best teacher with this is a difficult type of care.