Succeed as a CNA: Tips for Maintaining Professionalism

As with any other medical career, maintaining professionalism is paramount for your own protection. While a certified nursing assistant will engage with patients on a more regular and intimate basis than other nursing staff, it’s essential to maintain a specific level of professionalism to ensure the patient remains comfortable throughout your encounters.

When looking for CNA schools online it is important to put your best foot forward, and to understand the various levels of professionalism when applying for the training program in which you wish to participate. Maintaining a clear level of professionalism not only involves how you interact with patients, but also how you engage with others at work and your actual work ethic. The following tips are designed to ensure maximum professionalism.

Tip #1: Your Appearance at Work
Regardless of what any other source says, the most effective way to maintain your professionalism at work is based upon your appearance. Certified nursing assistants communicate with patients in a unique manner. Therefore, you must ensure your first impression is one of a professional. This is accomplished by ensuring your appearance is neat and tidy. Never arrive at work with dirty scrubs or unapproved outfits. You should strive to have a sterile appearance. This not only ensures you’re taken seriously, but eases patients. Imagine having a nursing assistant with stained scrubs that are wrinkled and ill-fitting. You wouldn’t take them seriously, would you?

Always make sure you wear clothing that is clean (free from stains). Make sure your shirts you wear under your scrubs are respectful and relatively bland. Avoid bright colors and inappropriate graphics. While you may have a wonderful perfume or cologne collection, this is not the time to wear it out. Many patients are sensitive to fragrances. Therefore, wear deodorant that’s free from fragrances and wash your clothes in a fragrance-free detergent.

Tip #2: Work Attendance and Tardiness
While this may seem like a no-brainer for many, it’s imperative to always show up to work on time. Although your employer will understand if special circumstances arrive and you’re unable to arrive on time (or at all) try your hardest to keep these at a minimum. The easiest way to lower your professional standing is to miss a significant amount of work or regularly arrive late. As the saying goes, if you’re on-time, you’re late. Strive to arrive at work at least 10 minutes early. This gives you ample to time to settle in for your shift and prepare your mind for the upcoming duties.

Missing a significant amount of work is never a good thing, regardless of your profession. In fact, if your work attendance is unsatisfactory, it can have serious consequences for your reputation.

Arriving on time and rarely missing work shows respect for your employer and co-workers. How would you feel if you consistently showed up for work, yet a peer who is always late and has frequent days off receives the same benefits as you? Respect yourself, your employer and your co-workers by striving to keep tardiness and absences at a minimum.


CNA to LPN Educational and Career Pathway

So you’re thinking about advancing your medical career from the entry-level position of a certified nursing assistant to the dynamic and advanced-level position of a licensed practical nurse. While this transition is very common within the nursing field, CNA to LPN programs can be a difficult road to navigate. Moreover, the training and responsibilities of an LPN are vastly greater than a CNA. Therefore, if you’re interested in making the transition to this advanced nursing career, then it’s important to fully understand how you can successfully accomplish this goal.

Understanding the Differences between CNA and LPN

This article assumed that you have already researched where to take CNA classes online and chosen a training class that suits your needs and fulfills your state requirements for certification. After some time in the field as a CNA, you will become acclimated to the duties and responsibilities you face on a daily basis. Many are surprised to discover that the basic duties and job functions of CNAs and LPNs are strikingly similar. While both professions are responsible for the overall care of patients, licensed practical nurses are licensed by the state and are required to pass state nursing board examinations in order to qualify for work.

Perhaps the greatest difference between these two professions involves the scope of practice for each professional. Although both work in close proximity to patients, licensed practical nurses are given a greater capacity for medical care, such as administering medications as well as collecting vital data for physicians.

Educational Pathway – CNA to LPN Programs

In order to become a licensed practical nurse, you must earn an associate’s degree in nursing or an LPN diploma. If time is a consideration, then you may be interested in earning an LPN diploma. These programs generally last one year. While you won’t receive the same amount of training as a two-year associates degree, you will qualify to sit for the practical nurse examination (NCLEX-PN). However, if you plan to eventually become a registered nurse, then you’ll want to forgo the diploma program and rather go for the associates degree. This two year program gives you extra credit hours, which are applicable for a bachelor’s degree. As many may know, in order to become a registered nurse, you must complete a four-year bachelor’s program.

When you’re looking for a training program, be prepared to pay anywhere from $3,000 for a diploma program to over $10,000 for an associates degree. However, you may be able to negate this cost by applying for scholarships. In some cases, if you’re already working as a certified nursing assistant, your employer may actually cover the educational cost to obtain an LPN diploma or degree. However, this is not a standard. If you’re interested in progressing your career, but having your employer foot the bill, then you may want to find employment in a larger, such as a hospital. In face, some hospitals feature their own accredited CNA-to-LPN diploma programs, which are either free or deeply discounted when compared to a traditional community college or vocational school program.