7 Different Types of Nursing Assistants
There are several different types of nursing assistant roles, some of which require additional training and certification beyond the basic Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification. Here are some common specialized nursing assistant roles:
1. Certified Medication Assistant (CMA)
CMAs have completed additional training in medication administration, allowing them to dispense medications to patients under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). This role is specific to certain states and is subject to state regulations and scope of practice.
2. Home Health Aide (HHA)
HHAs work primarily in patients’ homes, providing personal care and support services to individuals who are elderly, disabled, or recovering from illness or surgery. While HHAs and CNAs share many common duties, HHAs may also perform light housekeeping tasks, meal preparation, and assistance with medication management.
3. Patient Care Technician (PCT)
PCTs or PCAs have completed additional training beyond the basic CNA certification and may perform more advanced tasks, such as phlebotomy, EKG monitoring, or specimen collection. PCTs or PCAs typically work in hospital settings, where they assist nurses in providing care to a diverse patient population.
4. Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA)
GNAs specialize in providing care to elderly patients in long-term care facilities or nursing homes. They have received additional training in geriatric care, focusing on the unique needs and challenges faced by older adults.
5. Pediatric Nursing Assistant
These nursing assistants specialize in providing care to children in pediatric settings, such as hospitals, clinics, or specialized pediatric care facilities. They have received additional training in pediatric care, which includes addressing the unique needs and developmental stages of children.
6. Restorative Nursing Assistant (RNA)
RNAs work in rehabilitation or long-term care settings, assisting patients with regaining their mobility, strength, and independence after injury, surgery, or illness. They receive specialized training in restorative care techniques, such as range of motion exercises and ambulation support.
Hospice CNAs provide care to terminally ill patients in hospice settings or patients’ homes. They have received additional training in end-of-life care and work closely with the interdisciplinary hospice team to provide comfort, support, and personal care to patients and their families during the end-of-life process.
These specialized roles allow CNAs to focus on specific patient populations or care settings, further enhancing their skills and expertise. It is essential for nursing assistants to be aware of their state’s regulations and requirements for additional certifications and to complete any necessary training or certification programs before working in these specialized roles.