CNA Programs

It is obligatory to attend a nursing program before attempting the CNA certification test which are conducted by community colleges, healthcare facilities, vocational training institutes or you can chose an online program. Online programs are flexible but lack in practical training.

The CNA programs ensure that you develop skills of patients care like feeding, dressing, and bathing, providing skin care to patients, taking their temperatures, pulse rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure, and helping the patients get in and out of the bed and walk. You will also learn how to keep patients' rooms neat and hygienic, set up the equipments, store and move supplies, and assist with some procedures like transfers and documentation.

A CNA program should be of 75 hours minimum as per the law, but most program centers have classes of around 100 hours. Certified medical assistant programs usually range from $400 to $1000 (excluding the exam fees), depending on the form of training and number of enrolled classroom hours. Usually the expensive ones are at the community colleges. Though CNA programs at a facility health care help the students with practical learning, they can also be tricky. Some health care facilities offer students a free 'Nusring Assistant Training Program', but they can request a written commitment or a signed contract from the student to work with them after finishing the course and certification, for a period of three to six months. It can be advantageous for students who have financial issues; moreover, they provide job security as well.

To enroll in a 'Certified Nursing Assistant Program', the applicant must have a GED or a high school diploma, although it may not be mandatory for all programs; he must be at least 18 years old; and the applicant must have a clean record with no sentence in the past seven years. The applicant needs to have a good health and should not be infected with any transmissible disease.

Although there are several differences from state to state regarding the 'Certified Nursing Assistant Programs', there are basic skills that every student has to acquire during the training programs. These skills are:

  • Taking the patient's vital signs: temperature, blood-pressure, pulse, etc.
  • Collecting the patient's specimens: stool/sputum/urine
  • Giving first aid to the patient
  • Giving Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, whenever required, to the patient
  • Learning about motion exercises
  • Techniques of bathing a patient: bathtub, bath bed or shower
  • Using the medical equipment for treating patients in a health care facility
  • Positioning bedridden patients: in lateral positions/ supine or fowler position
  • Helping the patient with his daily living needs: assisting the patient to use the urinal/ commode/ bathroom or bedpan

All good CNA programs cover all these topics for a comprehensive study for certification. Most of these programs conduct regular class tests; quiz etc., to keep the students updated about their preparation in a timely manner.

After completion of the course the community schools or healthcare facilities provide for practice test based on the pattern/ format of the actual certified nurse assistant certification exam. This helps students judge their preparedness for the final test.

Books for reference

While attending classes we also recommend a few books for a thorough study in your pursuit of CNA certification. These books are:

  • CNA Certified Nursing Assistant Exam Cram
  • Nursing Assistant/ Nurse Aide Exam
  • Mosby's Textbooks for Nursing Assistants
  • Nursing Diagnosis Handbooks: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care
  • Nursing Assistant Test Review for the Certified Nurse Assistant Exam

These books can be useful for certification tests of any of the 50 states; for any specific books recommended by your Nurse Aide Registry you need to check with the state department. To become a certified nursing aide research for the best institutes nearby, study the course structure in details and then enroll into a program that suits you the best.

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