CNA Training

CNA training can vary somewhat from state to state, and from one provider to another, however there are basic skills and knowledge requirements common to most programs. The American Red Cross of Central Maryland is now offering a new 114 hour Red Cross CNA class, and it offers a very good outline of what all CNA training courses teach. The course consists of 43 hours of lecture/theory, 29 hours of lab/practice, plus 42 hours of clinical training experience. Clinical instruction takes place at a long-term facility, i.e. nursing facility, and supervised by an American Red Cross instructor, where students work with patients, gaining invaluable hands-on experience.

The Red Cross CNA training course meets both Federal and State CNA (certified nursing assistant) training requirements, as well as GNA (geriatric nursing assistant) training requirements for certification. Classes are conducted in state-of-the-art classrooms, which are equipped with four hospital beds, a Hoyer lift, mannequins, wheelchairs, and all other necessary materials and equipment that students will need to know how to use and operate once on the job. Students learn to how to perform the following procedures:

  • First Aid for Choking
  • Hand washing
  • Putting on and Taking Off Protective Clothing
  • Handling a Plastic Trash Bag
  • Using an Electronic Thermometer
  • Counting and Recording a Person’s Pulse
  • Counting and Recording a Person’s Respiration’s
  • Taking and Recording a Person’s Blood Pressure
  • Moving a Person Around in Bed
  • Positioning a Person in Supine, Fowler’s, and Lateral Positions
  • Transferring from Bed to Chair
  • Repositioning a Person in a Chair
  • Using a Mechanical Lift to Transfer a Person from Bed to Chair
  • Brushing and Flossing Teeth
  • Providing Denture Care
  • Giving a Person a Complete Bed Bath and Shampoo
  • Helping a Person with Showering and Shampooing
  • Brushing and Combing a Person’s Hair
  • Helping a Man Shave with an Electric and Safety Razor
  • Cleaning a Person’s Fingernails and Toenails
  • Helping a Person Dress/Undress
  • Making an Occupied/Unoccupied Bed
  • Helping a Person Eat
  • Measuring a Person’s Height and Weight
  • Helping a Person Use the Bathroom/Commode/ Bedpan/Urinal
  • Providing Perineal Care for a Person with a Urinary Catheter
  • Emptying a Urinary Drainage Bag
  • Applying an External Urinary Catheter to a Male
  • Collecting Urine/Stool/Sputum Specimens
  • Testing Urine for Sugar and Acetone
  • Giving a Person a Tap Water Enema
  • Diapering a Child
  • Collecting a Urine Specimen from an Infant
  • Helping a Person with Passive Range of Motion Exercises
  • Helping a Person Walk
  • Applying Elastic Stockings
  • Sterilizing Glass Baby Bottles
  • Bathing a newborn
  • Providing Post Mortem Care
  • Applying Compresses and Assisting with Soaks
  • Changing an Ostomy Appliance

According to American Red Cross instructor Martha Gross, “Our Nurse Assistant training course is very fast paced. Our students are out in the workforce after just four or five weeks.” Once the course is completed, students become eligible to take the state certification exam. Many graduates, after passing their exams, find jobs in home health care, long-term care facilities, developmental disabilities homes, and hospitals.

There are many free CNA training opportunities available, however the Red Cross does charge for their course. You can often get free training and certification through local hospitals and nursing homes, or local vocational training organizations, however they do not cover the cost for the state exam.

While it might be beneficial for a student to have previous CNA training, The American Red Cross does not offer credit for previous training, experience, or coursework taken at any other medical facility, school, college, or university. Some providers do take workplace experience or prior training into account.