Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) form a critical part of the health sector. If you have a dream of a career in the health care industry, becoming a CNA makes for a good entry point. Before you can become a CNA though, first you must complete the required certified nursing assistant training. But how do you do this?
In fact, enrolling for a CNA training class is simple and within no time you will be on your way to an exciting and rewarding career. Let’s take a closer look …
CNA Career Overview
As a CNA you will serve under a doctor and a Registered Nurse (RN) to ensure a smooth medical care process. You will be tasked with assisting patients to move from one point to another, cleaning them, taking vital signs such as temperature and blood pressure, and stripping down patients’ beddings among other duties. See our CNA Duties And Responsibilities article for more information about the tasks a CNA is expected to undertake.
A CNA training class will have prepared you adequately for all these duties because most sessions involve clinical lessons.
One of the great benefits of becoming a CNA is that a certified nursing assistant’s skills can be applied in many different areas including nursing homes, outpatient clinics, hospitals and physician’s offices.
The US BLS indicated this profession in general is set to grow by 28% from 2008 to 2018 and 49% specifically for home care aides. Salaries vary depending on experience, location, type of facility, and training. In Montana, for example, the annual pay is $28,000 while in California it is $23,000 while Alaska pays the highest annual pay of $32,390. The national average is $24,980.
A Brief Analysis of Certified Nursing Assistant Training
Certified Nursing Assistant training provides you with the skills and experience necessary to pass your state’s certification exam and begin a career as a CNA. To join any accredited training program, you must be over 18 years old and in possession of a high school diploma or GED.
In addition, you will undertake a written and oral test to assess your communication skills. A background check for criminal offenses and a thorough medical checkup are also part of the admission requirements.
CNA classes can last for anything between 2 – 6 weeks or up to 6 months in the case of Red Cross and community college programs. There are two main categories of CNA training classes:
A Traditional CNA Class program
This is a full time program where you attend clinical and non-clinical classes. Subjects involved in educational training include anatomy and physiology, infection control, communication, resident’s rights, and personal care skills.
In clinical training you will be required to work for a specific number of hours in a medical facility applying these skills in order to pass your exam.
They also include free training programs where you work in a health care facility as you learn the ropes.
Online CNA Training Programs
These are offered for part-time learners engaged elsewhere. They are divided into basic clinical skills and non-clinical training. During the first stage, you will be expected to learn personal care skills just like in traditional classes and apply them in hospital or clinical settings.
Non-clinical training includes an e-book on areas such as introduction to nursing, physiology and anatomy, medical jargon, ethics among others.
These classes are more flexible as you do not have to commute and you also learn at your own pace. They are also less costly and you get a wide range of informative and interactive materials online.
After training both programs lead to certification, if you pass your final National Nurse Aide Assessment program (NNAAP) exam. However, you can only become certified if the program is accredited by a state agency which makes it mandatory to confirm this issue. Armed with this information, you can now start your search for a CNA training class and join this blossoming profession.