In terms of healthcare professionals, Registered Nurses, or RNs, are the largest group. Many RNs began their nursing career as Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, by completing CNA training courses.
While CNA training programs differ according to the state, most CNAs must complete 16 hours of hands-on training, known as “clinicals,” and 75 hours of in-class coursework.
Some institutions offer distance learning CNA classes. However, traditional training is completed at nursing homes, healthcare facilities and junior colleges.
Depending on the place of employment, CNA job requirements will vary. Often, CNAs are called upon to work under RNs and provide bedside care to patients, such as assisting with personal hygiene tasks, changing bedsheets and transporting patients throughout the facility.
There are numerous CNA programs. The majority of programs offer similar coursework and training.
One Available CNA Training Course
CNA training through the Red Cross may be offered at no cost, with the student only paying an approximate $100 state exam fee. This Red Cross program is available in many states. The Red Cross’ coursework falls in line with national standards for CNA curriculum and follows specific state guidelines.
Requirements for Red Cross CNA Training Participation
The Participant must:
– Be at least 18-years-old, – Not have been convicted of a felony for at least seven years prior to participation, – Not have a communicable disease, – Not be pregnant.
A prospective CNA student should talk to their physician about any disabilities or medical conditions they may have that could hinder physical tasks demanded by this vocation, particularly in terms of lifting and moving patients. On January 1, 2012, a law passed that prevents health providers from being forced to perform heavy lifting. Now, all healthcare facilities are required to provide a lifting device or team in order to prevent individual workers, like CNAs, from being injured on the job.
Those who take a Red Cross CNA course are expected to be on time for class and not be absent for six hours or more of total instruction time. Missed hours must be completed at a later date. All tests must have a passing score of at least 80 percent.
Once prospective CNAs finish the Red Cross coursework, they will have to pass an exam consisting of two parts. One part is a skills test where the test taker must successfully complete several hands-on tasks. These skills are those that students learn during clinicals.
The other part of the exam is a written test. Each part of the exam is completed the same day, and test takers have five and one-half hours to finish.
Skills a CNA May Be Asked to Demonstrate During an Exam
These skills include:
– Securing wheelchair locks,
– Gait belt use during transfers,
– Drawing privacy curtains,
– Raising bed rails before leaving a patient,
– Respecting a patient’s privacy and dignity,
– Knocking before entering the patient’s room,
– Covering patients,
– Calling a patient by name,
– Introducing one’s self,
– Giving the patient a step-by-step explanation before starting a procedure,
– Wearing gloves,
– Properly washing one’s hands.
Many CNA Training Avenues Are Offered in Each State
Nursing homes are a common CNA training venue. These facilities provide on-the-job training as an alternative to seeking certification via classroom-based programs. Some nursing homes even promote no-cost CNA training.
Those who lack a formal healthcare background are required to work full-time hours for 2-6 weeks in exchange for free training.
However, prospective CNAs can take traditional training courses through the Red Cross or a community college, which usually last six months.
Michigan’s CNA training is a prime example of the variety of CNA schools and classes offered around the country. Some of the colleges in Michigan that provide Nursing Care Skills certification are the Washtenah Community College at Ann Arbor, the Lansing Community College at Lansing, and the Henry Ford Community College at Dearborn.
A 2008 estimate shows approximately 1.5 million CNAs were employed in the United States. This number is one million less than RNs even though RNs possess more training, earn higher wages and have greater job responsibilities.
Many variables influence a CNA’s salary, such as the region of the United States where the CNA works and the facility of employment. For instance, California CNAs earn a salary range of $9.13 to $16.18 per hour while North Carolina CNAs earn anywhere from $7.94 to $12.84 an hour.