Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) require proper training. It is important that you should obtain the best training available; thereby choosing the best community college in your area. The training usually takes 6-12 weeks and is often conducted in a community college or a medical facility. Training program will provide you the basic knowledge of nursing in order to receive the state license for which you need to appear for examination conducted by state health council. Most of the CNA programs are relatively short in duration. You are be able to complete them and start working in a fairly short period of time. Most of these specialized training programs comprise of 120 to 140 hours of classroom lectures. The program includes a number of different topics such as basic nursing skills, proper body metabolism, etc.
The different topics are taught either by Registered Nurses (RNs) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). You will learn a lot of different skills and gain a lot of knowledge during the course. There is also a required minimum 75 hours of clinical training, which is also known as Clinical Externship.
Advantages of CNA Online:
- You can study at the location as per your choice; at home or even at your workplace, if possible.
- The course can be completed alongside your job. You do not have to quit your job and pursue it.
- The fees of a full time course are quite high. This is one of the reasons why many aspiring candidates want to opt for online training.
- Many candidates do not have the time to undergo a full time training program, therefore a distance learning program is the best option for them.
Disadvantages of CNA Online:
- The candidates pursuing online courses for Certified Nursing Assistant would lack a direct interaction with the trainers
- They will also not be able to share their ideas with others in the class on a regular basis
- Many online programs may not have provision for practical classes in their clinics; a hands-on experience in their field is very important
- You may get less experience to handle the clinical equipment, patients and procedures as compared to a live classroom lectures
The Training Module Covers:
- Lifespan Age-specific care
- Care delivery at safe patient
- Infection control principles and practices
- Body mechanics and mobility skills
- Skills at communication
- Daily activities assisting
- Nutrition and dietary care
- Nurse assistant care and common health problems
In skills labs, students practice taking vital signs of the patients, assisting with patient mobility, and patient hygiene skills. The clinical experience allows students to work with patients on nursing units. Good bedside manners are extremely important in this job.
You can choose the class timing according to your own convenience. The classes are available in morning as well as evening and even on weekends too. This is the most prominent advantage of this training program. So the person who is occupied with other responsibilities can choose the classes accordingly.
Nursing homes or long term care facilities are preferred for obtaining training for people who want take up this career path, as these places offers free classes and work for same nursing homes for certain specific period of time after the certification degree.
The Red Cross society also offers nursing assistant courses. This is also a popular institute, as aspirants can obtain the training at low cost or even for free of cost. Another advantage of getting certified and trained by the Red Cross is that this is recognized all over country. This organization is well known in the medical field and this would be an added advantage in your career and prove to be advantageous over other applicants in long run. There are many applicants who do not have the time to attend a full time course. They cannot afford to leave their jobs and pursue a full time course, therefore for them online training is the best option to build their career in this field. Online courses are in huge demand. Those who opt for CNA online training have the advantage of pursuing the course along with their profession. Nowadays, online courses are becoming very popular amongst students and working professionals and the demand for professionals in the medical field has also increased over the years and so has the demand for a Certified Nursing Assistants.
Overview of CNA Training
The certified nursing assistant classes can last anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. The duration of CNA training can differ according to the respective state’s requirements which are set by the state board of nursing. Usually, the total duration of the program is split into 2 sections viz. technical classroom instruction and clinical practice session. Some states even include a short laboratory practice session along with these two. The classroom instruction period comprises of in-class lectures, group discussions, interactive sessions, etc. The facility that offers the classes provides with the course material for studying. Here, the students get to learn and understand all the technical aspects of nursing. During practical or clinical hands-on practice, the students get acquainted with the clinical tasks, real patients, basic clinical responsibilities, clinical environments along with communication skills, reporting skills, taking vital signs, etc. Here, they also acquire and develop all the essential skills that are necessary for working as a certified nurse aide in clinical settings. They learn to communicate between the patients and doctors; and also between patients, their families and senior nurses.
One more factor influencing the duration and content of the course is the type of classes one is opting for. They can be available in paid or free form, online or in-campus form, short-term or long-term form; and full time or part time form. Theory syllable of the CNA training includes topics like basic science and health science, basic patient care and hygiene, human anatomy and physiology, human body mechanism, ethics of nursing, emergency services, infection control, etc. Clinical hands-on practice gives the students an experience of patient care, personal hygiene, infection control, simple dressing, room preparation, bathing and grooming, health chart preparation, taking vital signs, reporting, etc.
Once the students accomplish their training program, they have to appear for and pass in the state exam for certification as a nursing assistant. Some states follow the NNAAP (National Nurse Aide Assessment Program) exam
; while some states do not. Whatever may be the system, the format is generally similar. There are 2 sections – technical paper involving multiple choice questions or an oral test; and practical test involving 5-7 randomly given clinical tasks to perform accurately. Both these tests are completely under supervision and passing in them proves a good competency level.
The evaluation by the examiners decides the results and the positive result takes the candidate towards certification. Once certified, the candidates become eligible to apply for the CNA license. CNA registry of each state maintains a record of all the certified nursing professionals. It includes their addresses and working status. This information helps the employers within the respective state to search for their prospective employees.
One must keep in mind that choosing an accredited or approved training program is equivalent to choosing the best program. It has many additional advantages. One more important thing is that one must choose to take the classes and give an exam in the same state in which one is planning to practice nursing.
Before you enroll for this CNA course, you should find out the prerequisites laid down by the State Department of Health for a Certified Nursing Assistant. This is because although most of the things may be the same, but some terms and conditions may vary from one state to another; the duration of the classes may also vary.
CNA Training by State
The local facilities at the American Red Cross
Chapters also offer CNA programs. Every state has its own nurse aide registry and it regulates all the aspects of nursing within the respective state. The nurse aide registry and nursing board of every state serve to monitor and regulate the certified nursing assistant trainings by states. Many of them are approved or accredited which gives them the recognition in the state. It is always beneficial to enroll in an approved training program for certified nurse aide.
CNA Requirements by State
There are certain requirements if one wants to get admission to the CNA classes. An approved class demands more specific requirements. They may vary from state to state, but the general requirements are –
- Age: One must be at least 17 years old while getting enrolled in classes; some states also allow 16 years old students to get admission to the classes
- Educational qualification: Minimum qualification requirement is a high school diploma or an equivalent GED (general educational development) test passing proof; some states also allow the students of 9th grade to get enrolled in the classes
- English proficiency: One must be fluent in English; while reading, writing and speaking
- Clean criminal background: One must have no criminal wrongdoings
- Immunization proof: One must produce the latest immunization proof
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