Certified Nursing Assistants work under the supervision of a licensed nurses to provide daily basic care for patients. Certified Nursing Assistants provide both physical and emotional support for patients at homes, in hospitals, assisted living facilities, adult day health centers and nursing homes. CNAs aim to provide personalized assistance to patients who are unable to care for themselves and help them regain and maintain daily functions. CNA career may be difficult at times, but it is extremely noble and morally rewarding, as Certified Nursing Assistants play an important role in helping patients have a better quality of life.
In order to be certified and to be placed on the Nurse Aide Register of the state in which the prospective Nurse Aide resides, the prospective Certified Nurse Assistant needs to take a CNA training program through a local community college or hospital and prepare for the state CNA certification exam. The certification CNA training programs vary in length, depending on the number of training classes per week, but they generally last from 2 to 6 months. Most CNA training programs require prospective Certified Nursing Assistants to have a high school diploma or GED. The CNA training and certification programs cover everything the prospective Nurse Aide needs to know in order to pass successfully the CNA Certification test.
The CNA certification training courses include both hands-on experience at medical facilities such as hospitals, assisted living facilities, adult day health centers or nursing homes, and basic biology and health coursework with an emphasis on areas such as CPR, infection control, safety regulations and patient care. Because federal law requires Certified Nursing Assistants to demonstrate competency in 21 skills (tested in the state CNA certification exam), CNA training coursework focuses on preparing the prospective Nurse Aide in these competencies. The CNA training classes include recording of vital health signs, personal hygiene, basic nutrition and communication among others.
Successfully certified, a CNA may find nursing assistant positions in hospitals, hospices, assisted living facilities, physician offices, private homes, clinics, adult day health centers and nursing homes. With America’s baby boomers reaching retirement age, the demand for healthcare increases more and more each year. Employment prospects for CNAs are fantastic – in fact, home health aide is expected to be the fastest-growing occupation in the medical field through 2015. In just a few months of CNA training a prospective CNA could be ready to join this booming field, so this makes the CNA training and career extremely attractive.