We’ve covered this topic before, but for those of you who are just starting the search for CNA training information, here’s a recap of the necessary steps to become a CNA, certified nursing assistant. Because of the nature of the work and duties a nursing assistant performs, a CNA training course and an examination are prerequisites to licensing. The training can be completed at a local community college, an adult education center, a career training facility, or a medical facility such as a hospital. You’ll need to call or look online to find the opportunities for CNA training available in your area. Before committing to a particular training course, be sure to weigh out your options. One advantage of completing your courses with a medical facility is that they will oftentimes refund the cost of the course if you commit to a position at the institution upon completion.
The CNA Training Course
CNA training classes are generally pretty uniform, regardless of where you choose to take your courses. They use classroom based education which requires the participants to demonstrate theoretical as well as practical mastery of the skills obtained. CNA training classes can takes anywhere from 8-16 weeks to complete and involves between 200 and 300 classroom hours. Depending on your current schedule, you may choose full time training (8 classroom hours per day) or you may need to attend part time CNA training classes held in the evening for 3-4 hours per day. These part time classes have more flexible schedules, and are often ideal for students with families to support while learning the skills necessary to become a CNA.
CNA training courses are typically not very expensive. The course can range from $600 – $2500 on average and there are usually grants, loans and scholarships available for students who are unable to pay their tuition up front. Free CNA training is available in many areas. Check with your state board of nursing, the local Red Cross or area hospitals for more information on free CNA training.
The CNA Training Course of Study
Most of your training will be conducted in the classroom, although clinical hours will be involved toward the end of your course. During the clinical portion, students will work alongside current CNAs to truly get a sense of what their new career will entail, and what skills they will have by the time their CNA training is behind them.
During the classroom portion, instructors cover a wide range of topics, which include:
- Health and physiology
- Anatomy of the human body
- Diet and proper nutrition
- Protocol for dealing with injured or ill
- Safe lifting techniques
- Working with the handicapped and mentally ill
- Taking vital signs
- Drawing blood
- Communicable diseases
- Patient rights and legal issues
- Medical abbreviations and definitions
- Basic clinical procedures
The CNA Examination
Once your course has been completed, passing the state examination is the next step to a new career. The exam will have both written and practical sections which must be performed by the student. The CNA examination can be challenging, but a good instructor will review all necessary sections of the CNA training to ensure students are well prepared.
Upon completion of the CNA training and exam, students will be licensed nursing assistants and ready for a new career!