CNA Training and CNA Certification Do You Have What It Takes?
It is true that CNA’s are in big demand right now, we would all like to have a job that can keep us both financially secure and emotionally fulfilled. One of those jobs that can do both is a CNA or Certified Nursing Assistant. A CNA has the opportunity to help in the care of the elderly and the sick. They are responsible for basic care that is given to these patients such as bathing, feeding and taking care of their patients.
What Is It like to Be a CNA?
Part of the work of a CNA is helping out other nurses with medical equipment and checking patient’s vital signs. If you are looking for a job in the medical field that will let you work closely and help patients as well as make a steady living out of it then this job might be for you. You will also provide important social and emotional support to patients and also provide important information on patient’s conditions to nurses which can help in their quick recovery as well as help the nurses carry out their work.
The scope of work of CNAs also includes answering patients who press on their call lights or call signals in hospitals or clinics. As well as maintaining a clean environment for their patients, maintaining a clean environment means emptying the trash and taking care of laundry. This also means stocking room supplies with supplies and equipment to be used by doctors and nurses when needed, this could be crucial and critical in cases.
Part of the work will also include assisting patients move around and this means helping them move around, walk, and helping them get exercise as well. You will also be expected to help patients get in and out of their beds and wheelchairs if needed. This may not be as easy as it sounds since you have to accomplish this without injuring the patients and yourself in the process, it will take both experience and training which we will talk about later in this guide. Along with helping their patients move around, CNAs also help prevent patients from having bed sores this means moving their position in bed by following a specific schedule.
You are also expected to monitor the well being of patients, this includes but not limited to monitoring their moods, vital signs as well as their Input and Output and report any rapid changes to doctors and nurses immediately.
Certified Nursing Assistants are also required to perform emergency procedures that is why part of their training and certification includes learning basic emergency procedures such as performing CPR or Cardio-Pulmonary-Resuscitation and Heimlich maneuver among other emergency procedures.
Work Setting and Employment Opportunities for CNAs
If you think that you will only get to work in a hospital setting then you should think again since you will also have the opportunity to work in other places such as Nursing care facilities and Community Care facilities for the elderly. Other possible work settings include home health agencies, assisted living facilities, hospice nursing, sub-acute care facilities for more experienced aides, doctor’s offices and more.
Another great thing about being a CNA is that there is a high number of employment possibilities and there is always a huge demand even in major cities across the country such as: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Baltimore and Boston. The great demand of CNAs today in the job market makes it a lucrative career path to look at specially in this time and age. Another great news to consider is that based on current studies the demand for Certified Nursing Assistants will continue to grow as much as 18% from 2008 to 2018. This can be attributed to the fact that the number of elderly individuals are on a steady increase and Certified Nursing Assistants are needed to take care of them.
Aside from the many employment opportunities and the emotional fulfillment that comes with being a Certified Nursing Assistant this job can also keep you financially secured since you can earn as much as a median annual salary of $28,592. This amount would of course vary from a number of factors such as specialization within the field, location, years of experience, and a variety of other factors.
CNA Certification Requirements
You don’t need a college degree in order to become a CNA, which means you don’t have to get over burdened with student loans in the future. Requirements you would need to become a Certified Nursing Assistant is a high school diploma or GED and the completion of a 6-12 week CNA certificate program.
CNA Training and Certification
The CNA training and CNA certification process usually takes 6-12 weeks and is often conducted in a community college or a medical facility. The program includes a number of different topics such as Basic Nursing Skills, Infection control, Proper Body Mechanics, Nutrition, Basic anatomy and Physiology.
The different courses are taught either by Registered Nurses or Licensed Practical Nurses. You will learn a lot of different skills and gain a lot of knowledge during the course of the training. There is also a required minimum 75 hours of clinical training, this is also known as Clinical Externship.
You will learn a number of different skills during your training and this would include: Being able to get the patient’s vital signs, these include; heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure. Aside from being able to take patient’s vital signs you should also know how to print these off the computer in order to chart them properly.
Since being a CNA means being in the front line when dealing with patients part of their training includes being able to communicate with patients and this communication can be verbal and non-verbal communication. Good bed side manners are extremely important in this job.
Aside from being able to become a Certified Nursing Assistant in a short time another plus side in taking the required training and certification is that you can take the classes at your own convenience. This is because classes are available in the morning, in the evening or in the weekends. This is a big advantage to those of you who also have other opportunities and responsibilities to juggle in your life.
After the training is over, there is usually an examination that follows, although this varies from state-to-state. For home health aides there is a national certification that is administered by the National Association for Home Care.
Where to Take Your CNA Courses
So you have decided to get your CNA certification. Now before you rush out and enroll in a Certified Nursing Assistant training course it is also important to make sure that the place you are enrolling in is certified and recognized by the proper organizations. If you want to find out if the course and place offering the CNA course is recognized you can inquire with the Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or you can contact your State’s Nursing Aide Registry. Remember to do this background check first in order to avoid being tricked and ending up wasting your time and money by enrolling in a course that is not recognized by the proper authorities.
Some places that provide courses and training include the following:
Nursing homes or Long Term Care Facilities have been the preferred venue for people who take up this career path since places like these usually offer to pay their education and training costs when they come to work for them after they become certified.
The American Red Cross also offers CNA courses. This is also a popular choice as a venue for CNA training since people can get the training required at a low cost or even for free. Another advantage of getting certified and trained by the American Red Cross is that this is a well known and recognized organization in the medical field and this would be a big plus in your resume and it should give you a big advantage over other applicants in the short and the long run.
Community Colleges also offer CNA courses and they even offer the option of taking the courses online, but as mentioned before, make sure you check whether the college or the institute is recognized or not.
No matter where you decide to take your courses you should make sure that they are accredited and recognized by the right organizations.
A lucrative Career and a Start of Better Things
A lot of people would consider the career of a Certified Nursing Assistant as a lucrative one because of the financial compensation and the amount of work that is done. Aside from being a lucrative career, this career can also be the start of bigger and better things as it can also be the stepping stone to other career changes and improvements such as becoming a Registered Nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse. Keep in mind also that there are more possible career improvements because of the number of available jobs and specializations in the medical field is relatively large.
Truly there are a lot of advantages in taking on a career such as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Not only will you be able to help a lot of patients in their recovery and in their everyday lives but you are also financially stable and you can continue on to better career opportunities since this is a pretty good stepping stone to other bigger and better careers.