Certified Nursing Assistant 101 – Your Appearance

How you look plays a vital role in not only obtaining a job, but also how others view your importance and value while on the job. This is especially important when working as a certified nursing assistant. Since this profession requires intimate contact with patients and continual work with professional medical staff, your appearance is highly important. Although specific facilities may require different dress codes, the following information is universal amongst most, if not all, CNA positions.

Your Clothing

Much like any other nursing or doctor-related profession, certified nursing assistants are required to wear scrubs uniforms while on the clock. There are several important factors to consider when purchasing scrubs. The first, you’ll need to make sure scrubs are neither too tight or too loose. CNAs must be able to move around patients and medical equipment with ease. Therefore, scrubs that are too loose or too constricting may prevent fluid movements, or worse, you may get caught on a piece of equipment. Secondly, the color of your scrubs typically indicates the role you have within a particular facility. This is especially true in hospital settings. Consult with your manager, or human resources liaison, to determine what colors you’re allowed to wear.

Personal Hygiene

When working around illnesses and potentially life-threatening bacteria, your personal hygiene is of the utmost importance. Always make sure you’re freshly showered before arriving at work. This prevents accidental contamination of outside germs into the rooms of immune-depressed patients. On the same token, always cleanse yourself thoroughly at the end of a shift to prevent infecting others with bacteria or germs gathered throughout your work day. The easiest way to prevent germ transfer is to thoroughly wash your hands before tending to a patient and immediately afterwards. Also, avoid wearing strong scented deodorants, cologne or perfume. Patients, and other medical staff, may be sensitive to certain scents. Therefore, eliminate this potential workplace issue by using unscented cleaning products.


You’ll likely be working on tiled floors in almost every type of healthcare facility. The reason? Tile is easy to disinfect. Therefore, you must wear appropriate footwear to prevent accidental falls. Discuss footwear options with your manager, or refer to your employee handbook. Make sure to only wear sneakers that feature ultra-dense traction support for slippery surfaces. Aren’t sure where you begin your search? Talk with a friend or relative who works in the service industry as most restaurants require the same type of footwear. Of course, you may also inquire about different brands with your fellow CNAs or RNs.

Your Work Ethic as a Certified Nursing Assistant CNA

There are few things that are as important as a strong work ethic. Not only does this personality trait provide upper management with satisfaction, but in the high-paced world of CNAs thrive in, a good work ethic goes a long way. While the importance of a strong work ethic is universally known, what does this mean in the realm of a certified nursing assistant?

Patient-Centric World

While you may have to deal with strong co-worker personalities or intense workplace scenarios, you mustn’t ever forget you’re working to ease the pain and mental weight of patients. Therefore, the first building block for a strong CNA work ethic is to create a world that solely revolves around a patient. Even though you may be dealing with multiple patients everyday, each one must receive the utmost attention and care. Strive to ease patient suffering while preserving their quality of life and actively working to restore their health. When management reviews your work ethic, this is among the top categories they monitor.

Nursing Staff Support

At times, life as a certified nursing assistant may seem overwhelming. Throughout your workday you’ll be required to not only deal with demanding patients, but also tend to the needs of nursing staff. In fact, the importance of this work ethic element is in your job title – “nursing assistant.” Continually strive to provide fellow nursing staff with above-and-beyond support. Doing so has many benefits. Outside of receiving positive performance reviews, showcasing yourself as a true asset to nursing staff may lead to better scheduling options, more responsibilities and potentially a streamlined pathway to promotions.


Although the CNA certification is vital for success, your own personal level of reliability and accountability is paramount. As a certified nursing assistant, you should acknowledge and embrace your responsibilities for not only work-related matters, but also for personal behavior. For example, showcase your respect for the position and for others by always arriving several minutes early to work shifts, following established guidelines to the best of your ability and working to increase the productivity and effectiveness of your entire team, not just yourself.

Life as a certified nursing assistant is anything but predictable. While you may not be able to determine how your day will unfold, you can control how you interact throughout the forthcoming unknown scenarios. Adopting a stellar work ethic does much more than safeguard job security. It affects how patients are treated, and ultimately, rehabilitated.

Using Biorhythms to Boost CNA Training Efficiency

There are many aspects of nature set to occur on periodic, yet standard, time tables; sunset and sunrise, the seasons and temperature variations. Presumably, how humans learn and retain memory is directly based upon physiology biorythms, such as sleep cycles and the rate of oxygen intake. While scientists are currently studying the true effect of Biorhythms on learning and memory recall, aspiring certified nursing assistants should use this biological system to enhance learning capabilities and memory recall. You can learn how to become a CNA with the help of Biorythms.

What are Biorhythms?

Generally speaking, biorhythms are automatic ticks and processes set forth through biological cues. These automatic responses to internal and external influences assist the body in many fashions; however, in the scope of this topic, biorythms play a direct role in how you learn as well as how easily information is recalled. While there are many systems that affect memory Biorhythms, initial research suggests Biorhythms protect brain neuronal tissue from damage. Eliminating neural damage is the first step in absorbing and retaining learned information.

How to Enhance Memory Biorhythms

While every person is different in how their body responds to biorhythm treatment, it seems the ideal method of enhancement is through a combination of nutrition and adequate sleep. For example, safeguard neuronal tissue from damage by consuming herbs such as ashwagandha and panax ginseng. Both of these herbs are studied for their ability to protect the brain through antioxidant power while sharpening memory, focus and concentration by stimulating necessary Biorhythms.

Perhaps the most effective way to protect memory-enhancing Biorhythms is by eliminating the damaging hormone, cortisol. This hormone produced by your adrenals plays an essential role in maintaining blood pressure and other bodily systems, but in excess it disrupts natural Biorhythms by placing the brain and body under stress. Irregular cortisol levels are contributing to an inability to focus, reduced memory recall and chronic fatigue.

While there are herbs capable of hindering cortisol uptake, such as Relora, the most effective way to combat this hormone is to monitor mental and physical stress levels while simultaneously getting the recommended six to eight hours of sleep per night. As a certified nursing assistant student, you’ll likely be presented with a myriad of stressors. While you may be unable to completely eliminate these concerns from your mind, with a dedication to maintain healthy stress levels, and ultimately healthy cortisol levels, you’ll quickly experienced enhanced concentration, deeper sleep and more accurate memory recall. All of which are essential to become a well-rounded and knowledgeable certified nursing assistant.

Guide to Certified Nursing Assistant State Certification Requirements

Those seeking a professional-level career may find themselves at a crossroad. While certified professions offer solid job security and above-average annual salaries, most of these professions require a significant amount of training. If you’re interested in beginning a career as a certified professional, but wish to limit your time and financial commitment to training, perhaps a career as a certified nursing assistant is your ideal choice. Becoming a certified nursing assistant requires intensive training and a passing score on your state certification examination. While every state has different eligibility requirements, the following requirements are universal throughout the United States.

State-Approved Training Programs

In order to sit for your state’s CNA online certification exam, you must first graduate from a state-approved training program. This is where things become highly individualized. The actual amount of training required is determined by your state’s nursing board. For example, in Tennessee aspiring certified nursing assistants must complete a minimum of 75-hours of training from a state-approved institution. Out of these 75-hours, 16-hours must be related directly with dealing patients; however, in Georgia CNAs must undergo a total of 85-hours of training; 24-hours of this requirement must be done in a nursing home under the direct supervision of a Registered Nurse.

While the aforementioned are only two out of the 50-states, it’s a clear example of how each state regulates training requirements for its CNAs. Therefore, the first step in obtaining your state certified nursing assistant certification, uncover state-specific training requirements.

Passing Written and Clinical Exam Portions

Once you’ve satisfied the training requirements set forth by the state, you must then register to take the CNA certification exam. Although the exam may differ slightly depending on where you’re located, the bulk of the examination is universal. Generally speaking, this examination is separated into two primary units, with sub-categories in each unit. These units include:

Written (Theoretical) Exam – This portion of the examination covers topics such as anatomy, medical terminology, CNA policies, state-specific procedures and other pertinent information learned throughout your coursework. In order to pass this portion you must gain a “Satisfactory” score on all sub-categories.

Clinical (Hands-On) Exam – While you must have a vast depth of knowledge to work as a CNA, you must also be capable of carrying out procedures and policies. Therefore, this portion of of the CNA examination covers the clinical application of certain procedures. Typically, the clinical exam requires you to successfully complete at least five different scenarios. Again, to pass you must gain a “Satisfactory” score on each of the five (or more) tasks.

Do Your Homework

The aforementioned are all general requirements found throughout the United States; however, to gain state-specific information for gaining certification as a CNA, refer to the “Certified Nursing Assistant Candidate Handbook.” Published annually by the nursing board of your state, this handbook provides all state-specific information needed to prepare and pass the CNA examination, as well as what to do if you fail all or part of the exam.