Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) means that you are essentially a patient care specialist, trained and certified in caring for the basic needs of a patient. Another role of a CNA is to provide assistance to health-care professionals including registered nurses and doctors whether it be in a hospital setting or a nursing home. Under many circumstances, CNAs go beyond the hospital and nursing homes to provide assistance to patients who live in their own home. Certified nursing assistants play a vital role in todays ever-changing health-care field.
You should also become aware of the requirements for becoming a certified nursing assistant in your state. Not only should these requirements meet your personal needs, but your professional needs as well. All CNA employment opportunities will require you to get certified from the state you are seeking your CNA certification in to validate that you have indeed passed the courses and received valid training to meet the necessary rules and regulations of becoming a CNA. Each state has its own set of rules and regulations relating to CNA training that allow you to become a certified nursing assistant in that state. Also, there are federal regulations that you must abide by if you are seeking employment in a hospital or a long term care facility that is being funded by Medicare. Some of these federal standards are to enter 91 hours of CNA training and 16 hours of hands-on training in a certified clinical environment. Such rules are deemed necessary by the Federal Government to ensure proper care in nursing facilities and hospitals.
Choosing where to get your certified nursing assistant training is a critical step in the process. You can obtain a certificate in as little as six weeks with some programs, while other programs give you complete hands-on and course-material training that typically lasts a year. You can expect higher pay you’re your employer if you complete a twelve month training course over a six week course. Before you decide, please consult an industry professional who is familiar with your states regulations to make sure that you are choosing the CNA program that’s right for you. You should be looking for the program that gives you the best opportunity to succeed and also meets your states requirements.
To help you choose from the large number of CNA training programs available, there are a number of important steps you can take. Speaking with a schools admissions counselor or representative is a good first step in the process. Studying at your local community college or attending a free training program for a hospital is a big decision. The admissions representative should be able to guide you to help you in this difficult process. Most of the time, the admissions rep will urge you to tour their campus to get a feel for how they go about educating students and on-hands training to give you a better feel for the school.
Another option that you can consider is online courses, but these are little harder to consider if you’re a traditional student. There are some steps you can take to help you evaluate the quality of some online schools. Try searching for various reviews of schools and training programs by current or past students online to see if there are any positive or negative reviews about the school or training program. Chances are, you are going to find some kind of feedback or review from a happy or unhappy student on his or her thoughts about the school. If you have some concerns about a school, you can call your states public health office and inquire if the schools online courses meet the states guidelines for training and certification. They should be able to tell you if the school is highly recommended or not too.
Making sure you understand these various scenarios can help you make an informed decision on the CNA training program that is right for you.