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CNA Training Through the Red Cross

If you have always wanted to be a CNA, why don’t you get your training through the Red Cross? Affordable classes are offered by this organization for anyone interested in working in health care, and are open to people everywhere. The classes are comprehensive and will prepare the students to work in one of many settings in a very short time. Hospitals, nursing homes, and private care all need someone with CNA certification to work in their facilities.

Prerequisites for CNA Enrollment

There are some prerequisites that must be met before you can officially enroll in the CNA classes offered by the Red Cross. Many states make it mandatory for any student to attend an orientation class before starting their schooling. This is just to give you an overview of what the program is about, and be aware that you must be able to pass a reading test, also. If you have not been a resident of your state for more than 2 years, there is also a required criminal background check in addition to an FBI check.

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Students are required to take and pass a physical, and this also includes a 2 part Mantoux test. If you are pregnant your doctor must give you permission to take the classes simply because you are going to be standing for long periods of time and need to be able to push between 30 to 50 pounds. CNA work is strenuous and demanding. I also have to state that you must be at least 16 years old to take enroll in the CNA program. There are also tuition fees associated with the program, but they can be split into 3 payments if necessary. You may also be eligible to receive a grant from your state to pay for part of the fee, or in some circumstances, all of it.

Once enrolled, your classes will teach you the basics of personal care (which would include how to bathe and/or feed a patient,) how to take vitals (blood pressure, temperature, respiration,) how to lift correctly when transferring the patient, and how to respond in any emergency situation. You will also learn how to correctly document notes in each patients’ chart. Becoming a CNA is a stepping stone if you plan on furthering your career in the nursing field, and an ideal way to learn the basics.

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The Red Cross CNA training program is a well-respected and equally well-known course of study that instills in each student the ability to administer quality care to the patient they are responsible for. Classes involve 160 hours of intensive training, practice, and lab simulation. Students can participate in either a 4-week day program, or take their classes at night for 6 weeks. Instruction is given in a realistic setting, and since the classes are usually small students need not worry about being left behind if they do not understand something.

Enrolling Online

Of course some students may not be able to attend “traditional” classes and may want to enroll online for the CNA program. The Red Cross understands this, and classes are offered online and may be completed in as little as 4 to 6 weeks. If this is how you choose to participate, upon completion of your course you must get in touch with the department of health and arrange to do a clinical rotation before you officially graduate.

Well, now you know that becoming a CNA through the Red Cross of America is entirely possible, and just another way the organization strives to help people. Contact your local Red Cross chapter to learn more about this great career opportunity.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

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Clara Barton and the American Red Cross

Many, many years ago, a clerk in the US Patent Office by the name of Clara Barton spent her time caring for the wounded soldiers during the American Civil War. She was also a key player in locating thousands of soldiers who were classified as “missing,” and became known to all as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her selfless and never-ending work. Once the war ended Ms. Barton had the opportunity to visit Europe and learned about a movement called the Red Cross and the Geneva Convention, a program that treated many of the wounded soldiers. It was expanded later on to include civilian war veterans and also prisoners of war.

Upon her return to America, Barton began to lobby the US government in hopes of ratifying the Geneva convention. She accomplished this goal in 1882. Before that, in 1881, Barton had founded the American Red Cross and was the leader until she retired at the age 83. Under her leadership the American Red Cross was significantly involved in disaster relief, responding to many areas that needed assistance, particularly flood, tornado, forest fire, and hurricane stricken areas. An epidemic of yellow fever was another of the causes that the Red Cross responded to. When she retired, the American Red Cross had only a few thousand widespread members, but grew exponentially over the next few years.

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U.S. Government Alliance

By forming a relationship and alliance with the US government, and by informing potential volunteers that it was considered their “patriotic duty,” membership continued to grow rapidly.  Once World War I ended the membership had swelled to well over 32 million, 11 million of those members being comprised of children and young adults. Joining the Red Cross was considered so important to the war effort that a public official in Wisconsin was tried and convicted under the Espionage Act because he considered the members to be “nothing but a bunch of grafters,” among other things. Apparently, not everyone was enamored of the newly formed American Red Cross.

In present times, offering assistance to wartime service and disaster relief remain the prime focus of the organization. The mission of the Red Cross is to educate every man, woman, and child about health and safety procedures, and to offer support for families who have military members. Blood donation is also a top priority for the Red Cross, and they hold Blood Drives in most communities a few times each year. Volunteers are urged to donate their blood and to recruit as many donors as possible so supplies never run out. Blood is one of the most important components in any disaster relief effort, and the Red Cross is determined to have the supplies remain as high as possible at any given time.

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Volunteering for the Red Cross

Working or volunteering for the Red Cross is not without its drawbacks, and at times the Red Cross has been the target of criminal acts. Several masked men shot and killed six Red Cross aides in 1996 when they were assisting in a Chechen hospital compound. Attacks of a similar nature occurred again in the 90’s and early in 2000 in Bosnia, Somalia, Burundi, and Somalia even though international law makes it illegal to target humanitarian workers. Unfortunately, the condition of this world make it an almost impossibility to guarantee the safety of the Red Cross workers in hostile countries. You can be assured, however, that people will still line up to become members and volunteers in the American Red Cross. It is an organization that continues to reach out to disaster-stricken areas, offering support and resources whenever needed.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

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Red Cross Emergency Response Teams

Have you ever wanted to do something good for your community but just didn’t know what or where to begin? How about getting the training you need to become a member of the Red Cross emergency response team? Believe me when I say you won’t be the first to do so. Doctors, nurses, technicians, and many more professional people already belong, but many, many more people are needed-not just professionals! Regular, everyday citizens just like you and me. Our services are needed in every community, be it a small town, large city, or something in between.

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Once you become a member of the Red Cross Emergency Response Unit you will learn the seven principles that are fundamental to the Red Cross movement worldwide:

  • Humanity

  • Neutrality

  • Unity

  • Voluntary

  • Independence

  • Impartiality

  • Universality

You will need to contact the Red Cross chapter to find out what you need to do to become a member of this elite team, and what classes and training you are going to need. It won’t be an easy task, but once you are done and go out on that first call it will be the most fulfilling moment of your life. You will be helping to save lives, and what better “job” is there? Yes, this is a volunteer opportunity, and you will have to commit time and effort, but it is such a worthwhile cause.

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You and your fellow team members will come together as one unit to offer assistance and aid to people who have fallen victim to natural disasters, conflict of war, and general total devastation of the area they live in. Remember Hurricane Katrina? It was through the efforts of the Red Cross volunteers that these people received the medical care, food, shelter and clothing they so desperately needed at this terrible time. Without these volunteers, total chaos would have reigned for so much longer than it actually did.

You may find yourself carrying supplies to and fro, transporting the sick, injured, or the elderly, administering first aid, or maybe even emptying bedpans. No job should be beneath you when you volunteer. You may be assigned the task of getting people to shelters, or even setting up temporary ones. Maybe you will find yourself cleaning up debris, clearing away rubble, or helping people try to locate other family members, friends, or even their pets. No matter what task you perform, it is valued beyond belief!

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Volunteering is a Life Sacrifice

Volunteers who are part of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) must be willing to sacrifice a large part of their lives if they are called to a disaster area. They are never sure when they will be able to go home or speak to their families simply because they are desperately needed at the scene of the tragedy. This is what you are agreeing to once you sign up. If you can’t commit the time and effort to devote to this unit, then offer your services in another area of the Red Cross. They are always looking for volunteers for so many different projects they have going. The point is-do something! Any little thing you do means a lot more than you may think.

People rely on the helping hands of the Red Cross volunteers in times of need, and this organization never disappoints. Always there to help people try to get back on their feet, put their lives back together, offering kindness and understanding as well as medical care, food, shelter and essentials. These people genuinely care, and by volunteering in any aspect, you show that you care, too.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

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The Red Cross, Social Media, and Helping Those in Need

The internet makes it possible to share information all over the world. People from anywhere are able to communicate, share pictures and stories, and in general form a type of “community” all their own. So, are you wondering where this is leading? Of course you are!

Social Media

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Social media is a great way to get the word out anytime something happens, either good or bad, and the directors of the Red Cross know this, in particular, the Social Media Director. This is where the Red Cross hears what people are saying about the organization, and they take all the information quite seriously and look for ways to improve the group and its efforts. If any information is incorrect or simply not true, social media is used as a way to get the truth out there to everyone. Most people are not willing to accept a simple answer because what they are looking for is change.

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The Red Cross didn’t used to be much of a social media user, but in light of events that affected the whole world, the organization realized this was the perfect forum to affect changing times when needed, but it wasn’t until the horrendous and devastating earthquake in Haiti that not only changed the life of these people, but the Red Cross as well. By sponsoring fundraisers and getting the word out on television, radio, and the internet, millions of dollars were raised for the Haiti relief effort. By using social media to inform the public, the Red Cross managed to raise $284 million dollars in donations in just a little over one month.

$80 million of those dollars were sent to Haiti to meet the overwhelming needs of the people living there, and a whopping $20 million dollars was raised because the Red Cross implemented the text message donation page-where people worldwide were asked to text the words “Haiti” from their cell phones. A $10 pledge was all it took to raise all those millions, so imagine how many people donated! The text program still exists today, has the backing of the US State Department, and people can still donate if they wish. Now, that is just one way to put your cell phone to good use, isn’t it?

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Website for Hurricane Effort in Haiti

A separate website was also established, as well as a blog in conjunction with the hurricane effort in Haiti. People who have lost, or are looking for loved ones, can use the blog to communicate with other family members. Flickr brought photos to the public eye, and currently have generated over 1 million views. Facebook and Twitter were able to keep people updated in real time as to the situation in Haiti, publish updates, and other information pertinent to the disaster, proving that social media is a valuable tool, and not just something to play around on. I find it a great source and a wealth of information for anything that is happening in the news today. Yes, some of the information posted may be biased or even incorrect, but compared to years ago when all we had to rely on for incoming news was the radio, newspaper, or television, social media gets the word out faster and spreads further than you can imagine.

Thankfully, the Red Cross of America realized that they were not utilizing everything that was available to them for spreading the word, and made the decision to use social media to call for donations and assistance. Who is to say what would have happened in Haiti if this media was not in place? Surely help would have come, but undoubtedly it would have taken much more time.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

Read More

Red Cross Volunteer Jobs

You may want to know what kinds of jobs are available on a volunteer basis with the Red Cross, so I have put together a list of what I could find. Hopefully, this list may have something that you are interested in if you have been thinking about volunteering some of your time. Check it out to see the typical jobs available, because the Red Cross is always looking for people who have varied backgrounds in different areas.

Board Members

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By becoming a board member, you will become a spokesperson for the Red Cross in your local community. You will also be able to assist with fund raising efforts and various marketing programs.

6271: Red Cross volunteers Kelli Corkins and Charles Richardson deliver snacks and provide comfort to the children at Grove Park Apartments where Tropical Storm Hanna caused flooding and power outages. The aftermath of the storm prevented the children from using their playground area which was immersed in flood water. Additional info: Tropical Storm Hanna Flooding at Grove Park Apartments 2609 Mcneill St Raleigh, North Carolina (NC) 27608 Kelli Corkins – American Red Cross volunteer Charles Richardson – American Red Cross volunteer he Red Cross visited Grove Park Apartment complex in Raleigh, NC, where Tropical Storm Hanna caused substantial flooding. Going door to door, Red Cross volunteers conducted damage assessments by asking residents if their homes were damaged by flooding or power outages. Many of the residents did not sustain damage to their homes but the surrounding property, including the parking lot, playground and air-conditioning units, were submerged in murky water with swarms of mosquitoes. While conducting damage assessments, Red Cross volunteers handed out snacks and provided comfort to the younger Grove Park Apartment residents who gathered outside. The aftermath of Tropical Storm Hanna prevented them from using their playground area which was immersed in flood water. “Red Cross volunteers Kelli Corkins and Charles Richardson deliver snacks to the children at Grove Park Apartments.”

Volunteer Management

This job would require you to assist in recruiting new members and help place them in areas where they are most needed.

Hospital Volunteer

Hospital volunteers assist patients at military hospitals, and also lend a hand at the local Veterans Administration service.

Babysitting Course Instructor

Become certified to teach the Red Cross Babysitting course to teens in your area.

Disaster Preparedness Instructor/Presenter

You will be able to instruct families and groups how to prepare for a potential disaster before it happens

Philippine Red Cross volunteers take to the streets to clean up after the Manila floods. From emergency relief to the post-flood clean-up, Philippine Red Cross volunteers where involved. Photo: Joe Cropp/IFRC

Disaster Services Volunteer

Once you are trained, you will assist other volunteers in providing food, shelter and other resources to families who have been affected by a disaster. Scenarios might include a fire, flood, hurricane or tornado.

Disaster Action Team Member

Volunteers who are a member of this team are ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice when there is any disaster.

Health/Safety Instructor

If you are certified, you can instruct groups of people on how to perform CPR, First Aid, and swimming and water safety.

American Red Cross volunteer Pam Rogers with Victoria Key, 5, at the Red Cross Shelter at Belk Activity Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

First Aid Team Volunteer

The team sponsors events throughout the year to bring awareness to the community concerning the Red Cross and the need for volunteers.

School Clubs

Both students and teachers from grade school through college participate in Red Cross programs and have clubs within the schools that belong to the society.

Red Cross Ready

This is a short 10-minute quiz that enables you and your own family to prepare a disaster plan of your own should the time ever come when you would need it.

Blood Drive Coordinator

You will be the person who greets blood donors when they come in to donate and helps them to register.

Blood Donor Recruiter

You will work with businesses, companies, and individuals to promote upcoming blood drives and sign up donors.

Staff Supporter

There are dozens of tasks that need to be done in this area. You may be asked to stock shelves, check existing inventories, run errands or make deliveries.

Public Speaker

As a public speaker you would set up presentations in and around the community to educate the public about the Red Cross mission and its many services.

Clerical Volunteer

Your duties would be to assist the administrative members with filing, typing, and other office-related tasks.

As you can clearly see from this list there are numerous ways you can assist your local chapter of the American Red Cross if you want volunteer some of your time and knowledge. As I stated, this is only a partial list of volunteer opportunities, and there are many more ways you can give back by becoming a member of the Red Cross Society. It’s a chance to help your local communities, and gain a personal satisfaction by knowing you are assisting those in need. Go! Volunteer!

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

Read More