In Mississippi, the certified nursing assistants are also referred to as health care aides, health care assistants, patient care technicians and orderlies. Individuals working at this position are the basic health care providers who directly deal with the patients; under the general supervision of doctors and senior registered or licensed nurses.
The certified nurse aides should possess certain qualities on their own such as genuine wish to work for the disables, compassion, patience, interpersonal and communication skills, etc., to become successful.
If one has such skills, then it is very much easy to become a certified nursing assistant just by enrolling in CNA training. Many high schools, vocational technical schools, community colleges, technical colleges and Red Cross Chapter in this state offer training programs for becoming certified nursing assistant.
One must choose the approved ones out of them. The Mississippi Department of Health serves to regulate and manage all the certification and related aspects of nursing.
Overview of CNA Training in Mississippi
To enroll in the CNA program, one must have a high school diploma or an equivalent GED. The requirements may vary to more or less extent from facility to facility.
After getting admission to the formal classes, the students are supposed to complete the course work of total 175 hours. These 175 hours are split in 2 sections which involve 75 hours of the classroom instruction session and 100 hours of clinical practice.
First 75 hours are of in-class lectures, discussions, interactive sessions, etc., that cover the theoretical or technical aspects related to nursing. The students get to learn and understand basic nursing and the theory behind the nursing techniques. They can get their doubts solved with the help of the course instructors. The course instructors are highly qualified nursing professionals.
The second session involves 100 hours of total clinical hands-on practice. The students undergo the practical session which can also be on-job training in a living health care setting.
They get to learn all the practical aspects of nursing under the guidance and supervision of their instructors as well as the nursing professionals at the respective setting. The students acquire and develop their nursing skills here; and also get used to the clinical environment and tasks of a CNA.
Topics in Classroom Instruction of CNA
- Basic science and medical terminologies
- Basic patient care and safety
- Human body mechanism
- Infection control
- Basic nutrition
- Personal hygiene
- Patient’s rights and nursing ethics
Topics in Clinical Training of CNA
- Patient care and safety
- Infection control
- Preparing simple dressing
- Basic life support systems and emergency services
- CPR training
- Room preparation
- Taking vital signs and reporting to the doctors
- Preparing health charts of the patients
While performing and practicing all these skills, the students also get to learn how to communicate inter-personally, how to precisely communicate in written English, how to measure the blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate, etc., and how to report accurately.
However, basic tasks of a CNA are quite challenging and responsible. They need to assist the patients in their daily activities, mobilizing, oral care, providing with bed pan and catheter care, medication as per the prescription, recognizing important signs and symptoms shown by the patients; and communicating between the patients, their families and senior nurses or / and doctors.
CNA Exam in Mississippi
The state of Mississippi follows the exam pattern set by NNAAP (National Nurse Aide Assessment Program) which takes the exam in 2 sections.
The first section comprises of 70 multiple choice questions based on the theory covered in classroom instruction. It is a written test and does not offer an option of an oral test.
The second test is practical and asks to perform 5 randomly selected clinical tasks within a given time span. The students have to attempt the skills test very carefully, as the nursing examiners constantly evaluate them so as to decide their competency level.
If one’ technical and skills competency level is good enough, then one is declared ‘passed’ in the exam; otherwise ‘failed’.
The students have to pass in both the tests separately. This exam is administered by Pearson Vue. On accomplishing the CNA training and passing the state exam, one gets certified as a nursing assistant and becomes eligible to apply for the license.
On getting the CNA license, the candidate can continue nursing practice anywhere across the state.
CNA Training Requirements in Mississippi
- Accomplishing 175 hours of approved CNA training
- Appearing and passing in the state exam (NNAAP)
- Latest immunization proof
- Negative TB test proof
- Current background check proof with 2 fingerprint cards
- Photo ID proof and 2 passport photographs
If someone from another state is a certified nurse aide and wants to work in Mississippi, then the credentials from the previous state and the license both can be transferred to this state through reciprocity agreement system. They have to apply for the same through Pearson Vue.
Mississippi health care industry has so many requirements for the position of CNA. Taking a formal training and starting to work as a certified nursing assistant at a health care setting can give a good kick start to the nursing career.