Certified nursing assistant is an entry level position in the nursing industry. They are also called as certified nurse aides and they work to assist their senior nurses and doctors at various nursing homes, hospitals, health care centers, long-term care centers, convalescent homes, elderly care centers, etc.
Since CNAs have to work at such places, they must work responsibly and accurately. Hence, they need to be skilled and talented in nursing aspects. They also must possess a strong will to continuously learn while working.
The CNA programs in California render the students to acquire and develop all the nursing talent and skills that they require during their professional practice.
Many of the schools and community colleges in this state do offer such courses and they are mostly affordable in cost.
It also offers free classes which don’t even require the students to be diploma holders. However, there are certain conditions for getting enrolled in such classes.
There are various training programs which are specially designed for those who are already working and cannot give enough time for full time classes; but need training for the professional practice.
The time schedules and duration of such programs are decided accordingly. These kinds of courses are available at selected facilities however, because most of facilities tend to provide with the full time classes as per the standards set by California State.
Approved / Accredited CNA Training in California
It is always a good option to enroll in approved classes for getting trained in the nursing knowledge and skills.
This is because the training provided by such programs is always up to the standards set by this state which in turn facilitates the employment of the students after completion of the course.
All the training and certification formalities are looked by the Department of Health through the ATCS (aide and technician certification section) or the certification unit for CNA / HHA / CHT. The ATCS serves to approve the nursing programs offered through facilities, schools, colleges and adult education programs.
ATCS provides with a list of ATCS approved CNA programs and when one completes an ATCS approved course for certified nursing assistant, one becomes eligible to take the exam at an ATCS testing center and get the certification for the same through ATCS. This proves to be beneficial at the time of placement.
Requirements for CNA Training in California
- Completing 16 years of age
- Prescreening before applying to the state’s registry
- Passing a medical test by the doctor so as to show the fitness to handle the occupational workload
- Presenting a background check proof to the concerned authority
Course and Duration of ATCS Training
An ATCS approved certified nurse aide training has to last for 150 hours, of which only 50 hours are allotted for classroom session and remaining 100 hours are given for the clinical practice session.
In class, 50 hours cover all the theory related topics in nursing; while the clinical hands-on session cover practicing of all the clinical tasks that a nursing assistant has to perform during job duties.
The students get to learn and practice tasks like feeding and medication, preparing simple dressing, providing with bedpan, re-positioning, obtaining vital signs, preparing health charts of patients, reporting their health updates to the senior RNs (registered nurses) and doctors, etc.
Here the students mainly acquire and polish the skills of interpersonal communication and precise written communication. They also get to know how to intercommunicate between the patients and doctors.
After accomplishing the training course, the students have to undergo a competency evaluation exam which is approved by the ATCS. The exam tests the theoretical as well as practical knowledge of the students so as to assess their skills.
Once they pass this exam successfully, they can get the CNA certificate and CNA license through a short procedure.
Free CNA Training in California
Some of the facilities offer free classes to only those students who produce a proof of low economic background. They can attend the entire course for free and later, can take exam and even get the certification for free.
Such facilities often mandate the students to sign an agreement with them; saying that the respective candidate will work for that particular facility only for a next specified period once the classes are over.
This kind of system is mutual and is advantageous for both the students as well as the medical or health care facility. The students get the desired education and employment for free and the facility gets a skilled and talented nursing professional without paying.
After that specified time period, the students become experienced enough and can apply at various other institutions for job. The education and job credentials can be transferred easily from the previous institution to the new one.
There are certain such facilities or private CNA schools which offer education for becoming a certified nursing assistant and a placement at the same facility after completion of education. This is the best solution for those who want to become certified nursing aides, without having to search for jobs later on.
Thus in short, one must wisely choose the California and ATCS approved or accredited CNA training which can be a stepping stone to a bright career in nursing industry.