STNA stands for state-tested nurse aid, and the term is only used in Ohio, for in other states, they are known as CNAs (certified nursing assistants) and have the same functions as nursing assistants.
Typical STNA Job Duties Include:
STNAs have various job tasks in medical settings such as skilled nursing, long-term care, hospitals, homes, etc. and assist with things such as:
- Taking patients' vital signs, such as blood pressure or pulse, to monitor their general condition or sometimes even checking blood sugar levels.
- Clean the living spaces of each patient, trying to make them pleasant, clean, and always available to each patient to meet all their needs.
- Take care of the physical and psychological needs of the patients, such as supporting them in daily grooming, changes, feeding, hydration, etc.
- Assist with the transportation and mobility of patients, such as moving them from one bed to another or supporting them by mobilizing them.
- Move patients and reposition them if they cannot do so independently so they won't have sores or wounds from constant contact with the bed.
- When trained, administer medications and/or supplements to patients.
- Assisting with medical procedures and cleaning and sterilizing equipment for dressings they change or procedures they assist.
- Aiding the nursing team with any duty they might require help with.
What Does an STNA Job Description Look Like?
This is an example of the STNA job description, and of course, the functions may increase in the case of different settings where patients require their services. For example, STNAs can work at a hospital or a clinic, but they might also work in long-term care facilities with recovering patients or nursing homes with elderly patients. They can also work in patients' homes, providing support directly in the patient's homes where they are needed.
However, STNAs need to have certain qualities to be able to fulfill the duties that are part of their day-to-day work, for example:
- Empathy. Empathy helps an STNA put themself in the patient's shoes so that they can care for the patient with more compassion and kindness.
- Advanced communication skills. STNAs need to communicate treatments effectively to patients and convey them to caregivers and family members so that patients can recover more effectively. They should also speak with medical and nursing staff to ensure all critical patient information is conveyed.
- Active listening. By listening to patients and demonstrating interest, you will gain their trust, which will benefit the quality of treatment.
- Sufficient knowledge of clinical and medical terminology. STNAs often need to use the clinical expertise they have to understand the treatment plan for each patient, as well as bring their knowledge to the table.
- Organizational skills, such as time management. These are essential qualities to care for as many patients as possible in the best possible way and to be able to fulfill their duties at all times.
Of course, it is necessary to have these qualities to become an STNA, but what is most important is the desire to learn them along the way because many of them can be improved with time and practice. STNAs can be assured that empathy and compassion are essential to connect with the profession and their patients.
How to Become an STNA?
The training program for STNAs is much less expensive than a more advanced nursing program because the training is shorter, and in general, STNAs can get jobs easily and quickly once they finish their studies. Within the program, there will be a lot of clinical practice to improve patient care. First, individuals who wish to become STNAs must finish high school, and once they have completed high school, they must enroll in a course that offers STNA training to work in Ohio's healthcare facilities. These training courses usually include at least 75 hours of clinical training and coursework. Generally, this course will last anywhere from a few months to a year. For the state of Ohio, at least 16 hours of training must be in hospitals under the supervision of a medical professional. Once the training is completed, obtaining a license and certification is necessary to begin working. In Nursa, we recommend that they find work with PRN shifts to earn better salaries. The average salary for an STNA in Ohio is $31,330 per year or $15.06 per hour, but for a PRN shift for STNAs, the hourly profit is usually higher.
While it is true that it is a very demanding profession, where the work is often physically exhausting, nursing professions are often gratifying because of the immeasurable effect they have on patients by touching their lives at such vulnerable times. The nursing profession is considered one of the noblest in the world, and we congratulate all nurses who strive to support their patients with love and compassion daily.