Health Care Programs
The Medication Aide class for non-licensed personnel prepares students to administer medications by the following routes: oral, buccal, sublingual, optic, ophthalmic, nasal, topical, inhalant, vaginal and rectal. The student is taught to perform a narrowly defined set of tasks; including following the six rights: right person, right dose, right time, right route, and right documentation. Medication Aides may be employed in long term/skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes).
How to Become an N.C. Medication Aide
Must have a High School Equivalency or High School diploma. A person must pass a 24-hour N.C. Board of Nursing-approved medication aide training program and pass the State competency test to be listed on the N.C. Medication Aide Registry.
According to Salary.com, the average wage for a Medication Aide in the U.S. is $29,848 per year.
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What is a CNA?
A CNA (certified nurse aide) is at the front lines of health care. CNAs provide one-on-one non-medical patient care in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and in home-care settings. CNA jobs are often stepping stones to other medical careers.
CNA nurses are more commonly known as CNAs or nurse’s aides. They work under the direction of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse to assist patients with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and toileting. They help change dressings, assist with feeding, and take vital signs. They also help patients transfer from beds to chairs and may assist the patient with walking.
CNAs are considered to be “the eyes and ears” of doctors and nurses because of the close relationship with patients. CNAs are often the first to notice changes in a patient’s condition, and they report those changes to the nurse in charge.
PCC’s training programs have a classroom segment and a clinical segment in which students, under supervision, practice skills on actual patients.
Upon completion of the training, CNA students are eligible to take a state certification test, which includes a written exam and a skills test. The skills test involves simulating situations on a volunteer.
North Carolina requires recertification. For example, in North Carolina, CNAs may be automatically recertified if they can provide proof of having worked one eight-hour shift as a CNA during the previous two year period.
CNAs play an important role in health care, but it is very demanding. In order to be successful, it helps to be pleasant, responsible and trustworthy. A CNA needs to be in excellent health and able to properly handle heavy lifting. CNAs also need to be patient and compassionate and enjoy working with the elderly. Reliable transportation is essential, as patients rely on CNAs for their health and safety.
Advancement and Salary
A CNA is on the first step in the nursing career ladder. With experience and about one year of additional schooling, you may become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or, after two years or four years, you may become a registered nurse.
According to Salary.com, the average wage for CNAs in the U.S. is $31,664 per year.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for CNAs is projected to grow by 17 percent from the year 2014 to the year 2024. This is because of an aging population.
The N.C. Nurse Aide I Registry is a registry of all people who meet the state and federal training and testing requirements to perform Nurse Aide I tasks. It also has information about substantiated findings of resident abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of resident property in a nursing home.
By federal and state requirements, anyone who works as a nurse aide in a nursing home must be listed on the Nurse Aide I Registry. N.C. Medication Aides who work in nursing homes must also be listed on the Nurse Aide I Registry. Note: Nursing homes may not hire nurse aides who have substantiated findings of resident abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of resident property in a nursing home.
State and federal regulatory information for the Nurse Aide I, including registry, training and competency requirements are in N.C. § 131E-255 ; 42 U.S.C. § 1395i-3(e); 42 U.S.C. § 1396(r)(e); and 42 CFR 483, Subpart B 483.75(e); 42 CFR 483, Subpart D 483.150-158 ].
How to Become a Nurse Aide I
To become a Nurse Aide I, one must do one of the following:
- Pass state-approved Nurse Aide I training and competency testing
- Pass state-approved Nurse Aide I competency testing
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To become a Nurse Aide II, you must:
- Meet admission requirements
- Be CPR certified through an American Heart Association approved CPR course
- Have a current listing an an N.A. I with the Division of Health Service Regulation in Raleigh
- An expired North Carolina Nurse Aide I listing with no substantiated findings or a successful completion of a North Carolina Nurse Aide I Program from an accredited institution within the last 5 years.
- A current Nurse Aide I listing from another state with no substantiated findings.
- An expired out-of-state listing with no substantiated findings from an accredited institution or a successful completion of a Nurse Aide I Program from another state from an accredited institution within the last 5 years (NOTE: The student must provide proof that the institution is accredited.)
Phlebotomists are specialized clinical support workers/assistant healthcare scientists who collect blood from patients for examination in laboratories, the results of which provide valuable information to diagnosing illness.
Phlebotomists have responsibility to take blood without harming the patient or disturbing the nursing care they are receiving at the time. They also need to ensure the blood is taken correctly, as if specimens are harmed during collection, test results may be unobtainable or worthless. Once the blood is taken phlebotomists are also responsible for transporting the specimen to the correct laboratory as and when required.
Many phlebotomists work part-time, and others may combine phlebotomy as part of their role as a clinical support worker/ assistant healthcare scientist .
Most states do not require certification or licensure to become a phlebotomist, but certification is highly recommended, as most employers require it—as well as annual recertification. Testing and certification programs are offered by the following certifying bodies:
According to Salary.com, the average wage for a phlebotomist in the U.S. is $32,964 depending upon experience.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for phlebotomists is projected to grow by 25 percent from the year 2014 to the year 2024. Hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, blood donor centers, and other locations will need phlebotomists to perform bloodwork.
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EKG monitor technicians assist cardiologists in the detection and identification of heartbeat irregularities. Conducting tests that monitor heart performance, these technicians work in a variety of medical environments. This career shows positive employment growth with education and certification and on-the-job learning opportunities.
The electrocardiogram (EKG) is a heart monitoring measurement procedure used by cardiovascular technicians performing an echocardiography. An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart, which a cardiologist will later review in search of heart abnormalities in function. This comprehensive heart health testing includes stress tests performed while the patient is attached to a Holter monitor, the machine used to measure and report electrocardiograms. The technician that conducts this test is referred to as an EKG monitor technician.
EKG Monitor Technician Duties
As an EKG monitor technician, you are responsible for performing the electrocardiogram test used to monitor and record electrical impulses transmitted by the heart. By placing electrodes on the patient chest to record activity, results are collected through holter monitoring, a portable EKG that records activity for over 24 hours, or basic EKGs and stress tests. Working in physician offices, hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities, you will also assist the physician in diagnosis and treatment considerations based on EKG results.
Professional certification for this career is offered through the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT). To prepare for certification, there are many short-term preparatory courses offered nationally to assist you prior to your certification examination. Programs like the certification course offered through the California School of Health Sciences run for approximately 3 days, providing training in cardiac anatomy and blood flow, electrical impulse, heart beat rhythm interpretation, pacemakers and electrode and wire placement.
According to Salary.com, the average wage for an EKG Monitor Technician in the U.S. is $36,462.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for EKG Monitor Technicians is projected to grow by 24 percent from the year 2014 to the year 2024.
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Career Profile: What do Pharmacy Technicians do?
Working with pharmacists and customers, pharmacy technicians are trusted with prescription information, patient records, and medication. Pharmacy technicians fill prescriptions, a process that includes counting, weighing, mixing, and measuring medication. Accuracy is necessary for the career and the most successful pharmacy technicians have a facility with details and customer service.
Most pharmacy technicians work in retail settings, such as grocery stores, retail pharmacies, department stores, or mass retailers. Depending on the size and scope of the location, a pharmacy technician can work with other technicians and one or two pharmacists at all times.
A Day in the Life of a Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy technicians spend a lot of time on their feet behind pharmacy counters, and may also have to move heavy boxes or use ladders. Non-traditional hours are common for pharmacy technicians, who can work nights or weekends in 24-hour pharmacies. Part-time work is common, which gives technicians a chance to build their schedule around their needs.
Depending on the size of the business, pharmacy technician duties vary. Those who work in larger pharmacies or clinics generally focus primarily on measuring medication or interacting with patients, while those staffing smaller locations can also be in charge of answering the phone, operating the cash register, and other duties.
Pharmacy Technician Training and Education
While most pharmacy technicians receive on-the-job training, hiring managers typically prefer those with experience, formal training, and certification. Formal training programs typically lead to a diploma or certificate and combine classroom and laboratory work.
Typical coursework in pharmacy technician training programs includes pharmacy math and dosage calculations, interpretation of medication orders, pharmacy law, inventory management, and pharmacy keyboarding. Some programs also include a clinical externship.
In addition to enrolling in a pharmacy technician training program, perspective technicians can increase their job placement opportunities by volunteering in a hospital or working as an aide in a community pharmacy.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for Pharmacy Technicians is projected to grow by 9 percent from the year 2014 to the year 2024.
According to Salary.com, the average wage for a Pharmacy Technician in the U.S. is $33,400.
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