The Basics of the Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program

Certified nursing assistant training is perfect for those individuals who want to jump start their nursing careers. This is the simplest training available for aspiring nurses who have the genuine desire to help patients.

Aside from having a caring attitude, nursing assistants must possess a high level of maturity and well-developed interpersonal skills. A sense of teamwork and an ability to cope with stressful situations are also helpful traits. A nursing assistant can also be referred to as a nursing aide, patient care technician or home health aide depending on the facility and geographic location. They have the same basic skill set with only minor differences dictated by their particular care settings.

There are different ways to enroll in certified nursing assistant programs. Students can choose between free or paid courses offered by a variety of healthcare facilities. Free certified nursing assistant training programs are commonplace. They may be offered by nursing homes, or physicians’ offices. The whole training may be completed in as short as two weeks. Students are often required to render a minimum length of service in exchange for the free training they receive. Paid courses are offered by community colleges, hospitals, and the Red Cross. They offer a more comprehensive training of nursing skills than short-term classes. These courses can cost hundreds of dollars and may last up to six months.

All certified nursing education is validated through examinations administered by state boards of nursing or health departments. They have varying test fees and requirements for the CNA test but usually need proof of a duly accredited training certificate and payment of a minimal fee. Some local authorities allow graduates of certified nursing assistant programs to work for a few months while they secure their test permits.

The certified nursing assistant (CNA) test consists of two parts: a written exam and a clinical skills test. The written portion covers concepts of patient safety and basic nursing skills. Most applicants find the clinical portion to be tougher to hurdle. They are required to demonstrate to a proctor their competency to communicate, assist, and administer medication to patients.

After successful certification, CNA’s are legally allowed to carry out their main responsibilities such as assisting patients in their activities of daily living while ensuring safety and privacy at all times. CNA’s must master such skills as transferring patients, feeding, assisting ambulation, and recording vital signs. They must also adhere to basic hygiene practices like hand washing and donning gloves to prevent infection.

CNA’s are a valuable asset to the healthcare team because of the nursing skills they provide. They are in great demand across the country because of the aging patient population and the high turnover rate among nurses. Most CNA’s work in nursing homes and a few are employed by hospitals. They work in rotating shifts or fixed schedules depending on the facility.

CNA’s who want to take on more responsibilities are encouraged to attend additional classes or earn more credits towards attaining a higher nursing degree such as LPN, ADN, or BSN which offer a wider set of knowledge that would expand their certified nursing assistant training.

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