Choosing to become a Certified Nursing Assistant is an excellent way to begin a career in healthcare. A CNA stays busy assisting patients with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating, moving, and toileting, as well as taking vital signs and recording medical data. A CNA is an active healthcare worker, and the CNA training programs you’ll find will focus on everything you need to know to get started.
Anyone with a high school diploma who wants to enter the healthcare field quickly can become a CNA. Some choose to begin their CNA training right out of school, while others who enter the field are making a career change later in their life. Some CNAs choose the career as the first step toward a nursing degree, others use their experience as a CNA to guide them toward another role in healthcare, and still others find great satisfaction in remaining in a CNA role. The most important qualification to become a CNA is someone who has a desire to help people. A successful CNA is someone physically fit, dependable, compassionate, flexible, observant, a good listener and communicator, a team player, and someone with a positive attitude.
Most CNA training programs are available at community colleges and vocational schools. State-approved training programs usually last 4-12 weeks. Federal guidelines require a minimum of 75 hours of training, although some programs will exceed that. Finding a program with state approval in the state where you hope to find a job is important. Without a state-approved program, you will not be able to get a job.
A Certified Nursing Assistant Program is a balance of classroom instruction and clinical training. CNAs need a variety of skills and knowledge to perform their duties. To become a Certified Nurse Assistant, you will learn bathing and dressing procedures, how to transfer and move patients, feeding and nutrition, taking vital signs, as well as the basics of anatomy, physiology, and body mechanics. You will learn how to maintain a clean and safe environment, handle emergency situations, and communicate effectively with patients and other medical professionals. At the end of the training program you will take a CNA competency exam required by your state. The exam will have both a written portion and a clinical skill portion, and will cover anatomy and physiology, patient care principles, patient safety, vital signs, infection control, data collection, patient communication, and legal and ethical issues. After passing the exam and fulfilling the state requirements, you will be added to the state CNA registry.
Many students who are enrolled in a CNA training program are also working full time, and while finding a balance can be challenging, many students can successfully complete a CNA training program while working and supporting a family. Finding the skills to prioritize responsibilities, organize assignments, deadlines, and study schedules will come in handy when it’s time to apply for positions. Developing the healthy habits necessary to manage stress are an important part of a CNA training program. Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant can be a demanding job, and it’s important to make sure you are taking care of yourself both physically and mentally throughout your training and your career.
Working as a CNA can be extremely rewarding and allows you to make a difference in your patients’ lives. Although the training may be short, your education to become a Certified Nursing Assistant will provide you with everything you need to know to begin a career in healthcare. Our caring, experienced faculty know what it takes to be successful in the healthcare field. Contact Clement Career College for more information about how you can get started right away.