CNA training is essential if one intends to enter the healthcare field as an assistant to a nurse, known in the industry as a Certified Nursing Assistant or Aide – or simply a CNA.
The CNA is integrally involved in numerous factors of patient care, including those as basic and straightforward as interacting with patients and family members to such tasks as changing bedding or assisting with bathroom necessities.
While the job of a certified nursing assistant is not nearly as broad as those carried out by an LPN or RN, a nurse aide is still charged with a wide array of fundamental patient-care services.
In addition, the CNA training process carries with it numerous requirements, including the completion of essential training and satisfying certification requirements imposed by the local jurisdictions in which you will find yourself working.
What is involved working as a CNA?
Many choose to become a certified nursing assistant as a formidable entry point in the healthcare profession. This career choice allows the honor of being part of this respected field, without the extensive schooling it takes to become a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.
Essentially, a nursing aide operates as an entry-level healthcare provider, meaning that he or she provides the basics of patient healthcare.
These tasks include aiding patients in eating, grooming, going to the bathroom and supporting them in getting up and moving around. Despite such accountability, it is essential that the budding certified nursing assistant understands that he or she will not become a licensed nurse by way of CNA training.
What qualifications are needed?
The two most important personal qualities for those entering the CNA field are compassion and nurturing, as you are there to provide both companionship and emotional support to patients who are often confined to bedside.
This level of support often extends to family members, as well.
Additionally, it helps to have a strong stomach, as it were, since the field almost always requires the less-than-pleasant tasks of assisting patients with the toilet and/or cleaning bedpans.
Where to get CNA Training?
In the U.S., CNA training programs must be state approved.
Some allow online training courses, but it is always recommended that you check your own state and community regulations.
What courses are required?
In general, courses necessary to successfully complete a training program depend on the college or technical school you are attending. Typically, they offer the basics related to nursing, including the likes of understanding patients’ bodily functions, knowledge of controlling infections and knowing patients’ legal rights.
Other certified nursing assistant programs offer more comprehensive skills, such as fundamental medical procedures, restorative care giving and nursing essentials.
All such programs offer CNA trainees a clinical practicum, which educates candidates on the full course load of skills required in your new career as a certified nursing assistant.
What costs are involved?
As with any type of professional training or schooling, there are costs involved in training and gaining CNA certification. In most cases, expenses are relatively low, because the length of time involved is only between about six and 12 weeks, on average.
In general, the cost of a certified nursing assistant program is between $400 and $1,000, based on specific schools. In many states, there are also free training opportunities available.
Your job as a CNA
Your career as a nurse aide is not paved in gold. The average annual salary of a certified nursing assistant is typically about $29,000.
However, this entry-level position within the healthcare industry will often provide many opportunities for further training in order to advance toward a career that pays well, while, not surprisingly, requiring a deeper well of responsibilities.
All said, while a job as a certified nursing assistant can be noble, it is still an admirable introduction to the medical field, albeit subject to the supervision and guidance of either a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse.
The CNA should expect to work in such environments as assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospitals. As a certified nursing assistant, you will be expected to do things that are not that complicated, and some that are considered either a nuisance or downright unpleasant for many individuals.
Becoming a certified nursing assistant is straightforward in terms of education. It requires a commitment of several weeks or months time in order to earn certification.
As long as the CNA understands the tasks involved in dealing with rudimentary patient needs and is comfortable in being closely supervised under the direction of senior nursing staff, it can offer a wonderfully rewarding career, as well as a springboard to bigger and better opportunities in healthcare and the medical field. With further education, the sky is truly the limit.
We recommend you get started with a full understanding of requirements and eligibility regulations, since they vary from state to state.
To acquire comprehensive information about CNA training and how to become a certified nursing assistant or aide, check out the following pages:
- CNA Requirements
- CNA Certification
- CNA Exam
- CNA Salary
- CNA Training Online
- CNA Classes
- CNA Degree
- CNA Certification Test
- CNA Job Description
- CNA Classes Online
State by State Guide:
Job Corps center to inquire for free CNA classes.
Locate the the Job Corps center near you here: http://www.recruiting.jobcorps.gov/en/centers.aspx
National Network Of Career Nursing Assistants: http://www.cna-network.org
State Nursing Boards: https://www.ncsbn.org/index.htm
One-Stop career centers: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/training/onestop.htm