CNA Training Programs – 6 Things to Look for
If you are thinking of becoming a CNA, you’ve probably noticed that there is no shortage of CNA training programs tucked into every corner of the globe – and even every corner of the web!
However, those programs are not all created equally.
Some will teach you everything you need, while others spend more time cutting corners than actually teaching.
Why is there such a drastic difference?
More and more training programs keep popping up because CNAs are in such demand.
In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says there will be a 18% increase in the demand for CNAs by 2024.
Lots of schools are trying to take advantage of the this fact – but not all of them are doing it the right way.
If you pick the wrong program and don’t get all of the skills you need, no one will be in demand for your services! In order to find the right one you will have to do some homework.
Be on the lookout for these 6 things:
1. A chance to do hands-on learning
As valuable as your time in the classroom is, getting hands-on training is absolutely vital. After all, when you work as a Certified Nursing Assistant, you’ll be face-to-face with patients all day every day. Your entire job will be hands-on!
You’ll be responsible for taking patients’ vitals, getting them in and out of bed, grooming them, getting them ready for various medical procedures, and anything else they might need.
And, remember, half of your CNA exam will test your hands-on skills! If you do not know how to tackle the hands-on part of the job, you’ll never get certified.
Don’t think you can’t get hands-on experience in an online program, though. Lots of online CNA training programs have partnerships with medical facilities – or, at the very least, can give you some valuable tips on how to find a good hands-on internship.
2. The right accreditation
A good training program won’t just talk the talk. It will also walk the walk – meaning it will be accredited by your local nursing board or even your state’s health department.
3. A fair price
The cost of a potential CNA training program will help determine whether it is right for you – but do not base your entire decision on price! After all, you tend to get what you pay for. If you pay a dirt-cheap tuition rate, you might end up with a dirt-cheap education – which can make it awfully tough to get a job or even pass your certification test in the first place!
If you’re looking for a way to stretch your budget even further, look for financing options. Many CNA training programs offer them, so be sure to ask before you write a check!
If you’ve decided to take your CNA classes at your local community college, find out if they have any scholarships available. That is a great way to get some (or all!) of your education paid for, without having to pay it back!
If you see free CNA programs, take advantage of them at your own risk! In most cases, these programs don’t offer the same quality instruction that the paid ones do. In some cases, you can get a good education, but you are required to work in certain places for lower rates right after you graduate.
4. The right class size
If you decide to go with in-person training instead of an online program, you will need to make sure that your classes won’t be too big. If your school crams too many students into a classroom, it might be impossible to flag down the teacher to ask a question. That’s no way to learn!
5. More than just a good ranking
A quick Google search will turn up thousands of rankings and millions of opinions as to what the best CNA training programs are. Don’t just go along with the hype, though. Instead, make sure that those highly-ranked programs are actually worth all of the buzz – and that they actually meet your specific needs.
6. Flexible hours
If you sign up for an online CNA training program, flexible hours are a given. You will be able to watch lectures and participate in online discussions whenever you want. But if you’re planning to take all of your CNA classes in person, things get a little trickier.
Odds are you have already got a job or certain responsibilities that limit your free time. You’ll need to make sure that your potential school offers classes at night or at some other appropriate time.
Don’t think you can “wing it”, though. If you take all of the classes in person, it can take about six months to learn everything you need to. Instead of thinking you can push things aside for a couple of weeks and squeeze a couple of classes into your schedule, remember that successfully completing any kind of the programs takes commitment!