Certified nurse aides work in a variety of facilities from hospitals to nursing homes. These aides may or may not be required to have CPR certification depending on the state, but if mandated , the CNA must take a CPR course and become certified. Once certified the CNA is bound by ethics to provide CPR to any patient in distress if no other help is present.
Aides that need to become CPR certified will need to take a special CPR training class that is intended for healthcare professionals. Public CPR classes do not cover the types of procedures that are needed in a professional setting. These aides are also trained to use a defibrillator device. Certification in mandated states requires that the CPR certification be kept current, just as the CNA certification must.
Aides that have their certification must administer CPR is a patient needs it. If the aide refuses to do so, they can have their license taken from them. Certain facilities may have rules that require a nurse be the staff member to provide CPR, but if no one is available, the person with knowledge and certification is the responsible party.
Even if an aide is CPR certified, most states require that help be summoned. This means that the CNA should call for help from nurses on duty or by calling 911 for paramedics. CPR may not be the only help the patient needs and if the CNA fails to call for help this can be a severe infraction.
If you receive CNA training from the Red Cross you automatically receive CPR training for the professional rescuer. You may need to pay for a course if you are not trained by your employer or the CNA classes do not cover CPR.
Some people believe that if they receive CPR training they are bound to provide CPR for anyone in need. This is not true, though many people feel that people with CPR certification should always provide help – though it is not a criminal offense for CNAs to fail to give CPR to someone outside of work. Many nurses and doctors are bound by this in different states. The obligation for CNAs outside of work is a moral and ethical one, not a legal one. A CNA can only lose their certification if they fail to provide assistance to someone that is in their care.