People, who become a Certified Nursing Aide, or CNA, find that they can be employed in a number of diverse settings and will be expected to execute varying responsibilities. Speaking broadly, a CNA helps RNs, LPNs, and physicians by providing basic patient care. Depending upon where they are employed, they may help feed, bathe, and clothe patients. They may also assist with patient transport basic nursing tasks like recording vital signs.
Despite the great number of responsibilities a CNA typically assumes, the path to become a CNA is not a particularly arduous one. In fact, most people can receive the training they need within only a few weeks or months. Most states require that a CNA complete at least 75 hours of training before being qualified to take the certification exam. The training consists of classroom work as well as practical application of learned concepts.
Training at Hospital or Technical College
A prospective CNA may receive their training through a program at a hospital, but they might also be trained at a technical school. Some training is even offered in an online environment, allowing for the greatest flexibility for the student juggling multiple obligations. Training to become a CNA is generally not terribly expensive. In some cases, hospitals and other health care facilities will offer free CNA training in exchange for the newly-trained CNA professional agreeing to work for the facility that provides the training for a set time period.
Once the 75 hours of training are complete, the CNA candidate is ready to take the certification exam. These exams are typically arranged by the candidate’s teacher, and the new CNA will have time to study and take practice tests before the day of the exam arrives. In many ways the exam mimics the training, in that the student must successfully complete both a written portion and a clinical portion of the test.
The testing process is typically rather stressful. However, with plenty of studying and preparation, the new CNA should be prepared to pass with flying colors. The CNA is then certified to work in the state where they took their exam. Periodically, the CNA must complete re-certification testing to renew their credentials.
The path to become a CNA can be completed relatively quickly – often in far less than six months. This is a quick method for entering a new career field that is challenging, rewarding, and allows individuals to make a positive difference.