What is an STNA?

A medical practitioner known as the nursing aide is a State Tested Nursing Assistant. STNA is the abbreviation for this position, primarily used in the state of Ohio. STNAs are similar to CNAs as both need rigorous training, testing, a criminal background check, and successful completion of a state licensure exam. Also, in terms of roles and responsibilities, an STNA, CNA, NA, and LNA are very similar.

what is an stna
A woman has sprained her ankle while hiking, her friend uses the first aid kit to tend to the injury

The employment title varies by state, but an STNA performs the same tasks as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). In addition, these specialists collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide patients with the necessary treatment.

So, today, in this article, we will put forth all the necessary details you need to know about STNA. We will also discuss how you can pursue the career.

Who is an STNA?

A State Tested Nursing Assistant, or STNA, is a qualified, educated caregiver who assists other healthcare professionals in offering quality patient care. They work closely with doctors, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and registered nurses (RNs) for the same.

A person who qualifies for the state test before performing nursing aid responsibilities in Ohio is often referred to as an STNA. However, some nursing assistants go by the titles of CNA or Certified Nurse Aide, LNA or Licensed Nursing Assistant, or simply NA or Nursing Aide in other contexts.

What Does an STNA Do?

A licensed nurse assistant aids in bedside patient care. They offer a wide range of services for patients to make them feel at ease. You can also get training to become a professional State Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA).

But before that, let’s get acquainted with the essential responsibilities of an STNA. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Changing bedsheets
  • Bathing and grooming patients
  • Feeding patients or helping them eat
  • Recording and monitoring their vital signs
  • Assisting with ambulation
  • Setting up equipment for medical procedures
  • Helping clean and dress wounds of patients
  • Assisting patients with walking difficulties
  • Monitoring their blood pressure and other critical metrics
  • Keeping an eye on the patients throughout the shifts

Please note that STNAs do not have the authorization or permission to give medical advice to patients or write prescriptions.

Where Do STNAs Work?

STNAs can find many employment opportunities in the healthcare sector. They are mostly seen in post-acute care facilities where patients require a great deal of practical assistance in everyday activities. However, many can also work in clinics, hospitals, facilities for elder care, nursing institutes, hospices, rehabilitation centers, and facilities for long-term care.

Besides, large manufacturing enterprises’ industrial medical facilities, schools, and health departments provide additional work opportunities to STNAs.

Some STNAs can also get work as assistants for private in-home personal care. Instead of caring for patients in medical institutions, they can work for home healthcare companies and provide care in patient’s homes.

Who Can Become an STNA?

STNAs frequently perform their duties in hectic set-ups in healthcare facilities. They are on their feet most of the time, providing the necessary care to patients.

Therefore, before obtaining any certification, you must have the strength and willpower to deal with patients of all ages and work in a rigid environment to become an STNA.

Since there are rarely other qualified caregivers to assist you, if you’re working in patients’ homes, you must be able to function well alone.

Nursing assistants interact with patients, build connections, and offer compassion and emotional support in addition to physical care.

So, if you also wish to become an STNA, you must possess the following qualities.

Strong Communication Skills

You must be capable of conveying a lot of information to patients and other medical professionals throughout the day.

It’s crucial to consider each person’s communication style. For instance, while physicians require succinct medical reports, patients expect less technical language and more explanation about their recovery or current health condition.

Empathy, Compassion, And Patience

Both patients’ families and the patients themselves are often anxious and afraid. So, to be effective as a nursing assistant, you must have a caring and sensitive mindset.

In addition, patience and adaptability are necessary. Patients may get irritated and feel their worst. So, you must show patience at these moments. You must also be flexible enough and ready for priorities to shift unexpectedly during the day.

Attentive To Detail

Your accuracy and attention to detail are two essential aspects that your patients and other healthcare staff rely on.

While working with patient charts and capturing data, you must show awareness of patients’ nonverbal clues. Paying attention to little things could save a life!

Strong Physique

Being a nursing assistant calls for a lot of physical stamina. You will have to spend most of the day on your feet while bending over and doing all tasks.

In addition, you may have to lift patients off their beds to wheelchairs or vice versa and help them sit. You may also have to move patients from stretches to a bed and assist in taking them to the bathroom.

Ability To Work In Teams

You are a member of a healthcare team as a nursing assistant.

You won’t be making diagnoses or treatment choices and writing prescriptions. However, you will still need to follow directions and work well with others to provide patients with the care they need.

How to Become an STNA?

Stna training

Becoming a nurse assistant is a rewarding job with many possibilities for advancement. In addition, you will support your medical team’s administrative efforts as an STNA and contribute to patient care.

You can become a registered nursing assistant without a degree in under 2 months. However, you must obtain a certification and license.

Follow the steps below to learn how to become an STNA.

Step 1: Enrol in an STNA Training Program

You can enroll in an STNA training program once you turn 16. A high school diploma is not mandatory. However, if you have one, it can help you a lot, or get a GED instead.

Students must finish 75 hours of a training program in an authorized institution to become an STNA. It consists of 59 hours of classroom learning and 16 hours of clinical work at a long-term care institution.

The coursework includes examining patient rights, comprehending protocols, learning safety techniques, and honing your communication skills. Besides, as an STNA student, you will also learn the fundamentals of anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and how the human body works over a course. You will get a basic understanding of medical vocabulary and the legalities of patient care.

Students are also educated about physician-patient privilege. You will understand what happens if you are negligent or neglect to give treatment to patients. Besides, you’ll also learn how to manage problems outside the scope of your training.

Clinical studies cover various topics, such as doing CPR and comprehending multiple health disorders. In addition, you can learn how to utilize equipment like blood pressure cuffs and gauges. Also, it enables you to provide patient care in a nursing home or any other healthcare institution under the guidance of experienced professors.

After completing this program, you can obtain a Certification of Completion from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

Step 2: Apply for Ohio Nurse Aide Skills Test

After completing the training, students are eligible to apply for the Ohio Nurse Aide Skills Test. All applicants must take the STNA certification exam to become registered nursing aides.

D&S Diversified Technologies manages the test, and the ODH administers it. D&S offers a variety of locations for students to take their tests around the state.

All candidates must answer 79 written questions in 5 nursing aid skill categories during the exam. Each candidate gets 90 minutes to finish the exam and respond to the questions.

So, you must recall all the knowledge you gathered during your training program while giving the test. Also, you must answer questions regarding fundamental nursing skills, patients’ rights, and how to communicate and handle them.

The exam also includes a skills test, a separate portion of the certification exam. You will have to demonstrate your capabilities in using various equipment and showcase your abilities for the profession.

Step 3: Register in Ohio Nurse Aide Registry

Successful students can subsequently register as State Tested Nursing Assistants in the Ohio nurse aide registry. You can call yourself a State Tested Nursing Assistant after passing the certification exam. The state will include your name on the Nurse Aide Registry, allowing you to inform potential employers that you are an STNA.

The job search process may be easier if you already know the place you want to work. You can choose from various settings, such as nursing homes, hospitals, or smaller clinics, to determine the kind of environment where you’d like to work. A career as an STNA can open up various opportunities for you in the healthcare sector.

Wrapping Up

A healthcare practitioner trained and licensed to practice in Ohio is known as a State-Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA). The duties of an STNA include aiding patients, keeping track of their health, and assisting the nurse or doctor in providing patient care.

Becoming an STNA takes less time than other healthcare professional careers. You can even begin your nursing or doctor journey by becoming an STNA.

To get the state’s license, STNAs must finish a structured program or specialized STNA classes, clear a background check, and qualify for a certification exam. However, apart from education, training, and license, you must also cultivate some essential personal qualities to succeed as a nursing assistant.

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