If you are thinking of becoming a CNA, your first consideration must be where to find a good school for certified nursing assistant. In your search, you will come across various titles that are used for this training but do not be confused by it, as they all mean the same thing. Nursing assistants go by several designations, depending on the location where they are working. Thus, if you are going to be a CNA, you might be called as a patient care technician, certified nursing assistant, nurse’s aide, personal care assistant or home health aide.
Once you have completed the training given by a school for certified nursing assistant, you are going to work under the direct supervision of a nurse and provide care to both young and old patients. Your place of work might be a hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility, adult day health center and private homes. While completing your medical education, you will have extensive contact with patients on a daily basis and learn how to give all kinds of patient care. This is in addition to providing pertinent information to your supervising nurse or other medical professional.
A school for certified nursing assistant educates its students on how to give support, which goes with essential care and nursing practice such as bathing, dressing, toiletry, meals, recording and taking of vital signs, making beds, maintaining patient room, taking care of the physical care of patients and exercising. The classes that are given are usually presented by registered nurses, and the extent of training dependent on individual programs. These classes are then followed by actual training in which the self-reliance and abilities of the CNA candidate are improved through providing personal patient care and daily routines.
Selecting a School for Certified Nursing Assistant
There are various nursing aide programs that are available, which have almost same requirements and curriculum. Most of them combine classroom instructions with clinical laboratory. The classroom course that is typically offered by a school for certified nursing assistant includes infection control, physiology, psychology, advanced patient care, nutrition and introduction to health care.
Clinical experience on the other hand is typically gained from long term care, home care settings and hospital through learning how patients can be helped in their normal daily activities such as bathing, grooming and eating. Majority of the programs require students to go through drug, criminal background and physical tests. In addition, they must also have current immunization.
There are two main factors to consider though when you are looking for a school for certified nursing assistant. These are tuition and program duration.
The tuition would always be a factor if you were looking for a suitable a school for certified nursing assistant that you could enroll in. A CNA program can range from several hundred dollars to a thousand. One of the things that you should look at when considering the tuition a school for certified nursing assistant is if there are additional certifications that are included such as BBP or blood borne pathogens, CPR, HIPPA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and first aid. There are schools that charge higher tuitions but include the above certifications as part of their program. Conversely, there are schools that are offering cheap tuitions but you need to have all of the above certifications before being allowed to enroll. Thus, it would be good if you could inquire first if there are certifications that are already included with the curriculum and if there is state exam eligibility.
The program length varies from four to 18 weeks depending on your chosen school for nursing assistant. The longer the course is, the better it will be in providing expanded curriculum. This would include more actual clinical experience. If you already have some experience though, a four-week course might be better. The short course is also advisable for those who want to qualify for the state exam quickly.
To become a CNA, one must pass the designated state exam. Although the requirements for the test vary with each jurisdiction, most will require you to complete an approved nursing aide course. Thus, you must verify if a school for certified nursing assistant will prepare you for the certification.