What is a CNA – Complete CNA Training Overview

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNА) is a health care certified professional who assists patients, under the supervision of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN). Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for assisting patients by providing supervised basic medical care, and care that tends to patient’s everyday living needs. Certified Nursing Assistants also provide emotional support to their patients depending on the health care institution they work in and their CNA Job description. Certified Nursing Assistants carry a high level of medical experience and abilities, but set of restrictions based on liability and legality prevent the Certified Nursing Assistants from performing certain medical procedures allowed only to Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Doctors. In the different states of the USA in the medical terminology used, CNА is also known as Patient Care Assistant (PCA), Nursing Assistant (NA) or State Tested Nurse Aid (STNA).

Certified Nursing Assistants can work in a wide variety of health care institutions such as hospitals, adult day care centers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and personal homes where they act as a helpful liaison between the RN or LPN and the patient. Because of their everyday contact with patients, Certified Nursing Assistants have a key role, providing information about patients’ current medical condition to their supervisors. The CNA job sometimes can become intense and fast-paced, it can be a little bit difficult because of the workload, but even taking into consideration these facts for most of the Certified Nursing Assistants the CNA career is morally and financially rewarding. Certified Nursing Assistants are medical professionals with a desire to help people and compassion for patients and these are qualities every prospective CNА must have before considering CNA Training and CNA Certification.

There are a lot of options available for a prospective CNAs to get professional CNA training. There are different paid and free CNA training programs helping prospective health care professionals to become a CNА. Depending on the educational institution or center where the CNA training classes are held, the available in the USA CNA training programs vary in their length, and they can range from 6 weeks CNA Training programs to extensive, years long, health education classes. A lot of health care institutions offer free CNA training in return of a contract with the prospective Certified Nurse Assistant for a specified period of time after CNA certification is completed to be served in the facility that has provided the free CNA training. There are also CNA training programs that are completely free and no obligations are required, that are designed only to help meet the overall need for Certified Nursing Assistants in some states and cities of the USA. Another opportunity for complete and professional CNA training is offered by the American Red Cross. There are also a lot of community colleges and online schools that provide complete CNA training programs and classes. Each type of training has their distinct advantages and disadvantages. For example a campus CNA training at a community college or health care facility is beneficial due to the hands-on nature of the training classes. Prospective Certified Nursing Assistants who take CNA classes in a campus setting have the advantage to work closely with both certified training instructors and peers, and have greater access to lab settings. On the other hand for those prospective CNAs who plan to become a Certified Nurse Assistant as a career change, on-site campus training classes are difficult to manage because of time constraints. Because of current job it is hard to participate the campus training and in this case online CNA training courses and programs are more attractive as well as shorter in training time, 6 to 10 weeks CNA training programs offered by different certified training institutions.

In order to become certified all prospective Certified Nursing Assistants must successfully pass the state CNA certification test required to become a CNA.

Despite the fact that CNA training and CNA certification requirements may differ from US state to state, and the duties of the Certified Nursing Assistants may differ from one medical institution to another, there are a number of essential skills that are requisite in order to become a CNA. Essential elements of CNA training are such basic medical care skills as keeping track of patient’s vital indicators, be an aid to supervising nurses and doctors in the operation of a wide variety of clinical equipment, looking after patients by helping them with grooming and bathing and also assisting them with feeding. Because Certified Nursing Assistants spend a larger amount of time with patients compared to the time spend by supervising nurses and doctors, they also provide most of the emotional support patients need during their hospital stay.

Additionally, CNA training consists of training in critical areas of patient care like the proper way to help patients walk, move to a chair or turn them in their beds, as well as assist them use bathroom facilities. CNAs additionally study certain areas of basic physical therapy and aid patients in performing not complex exercises to correct patient’s range of motion. First aid training, as well as stool and urinary sample collection are also learned in the CNA training classes. It is important to know that every state of the USA is different in regards to CNA Training amount of time required. Before prospective CNAs begin nursing assistant training it is highly advisable more information about the State Nurse Aide Registry and/or State Licensing Board requirements to be gained. It is also advisable for a prospective Certified Nurse Assistants to check in advance what the requirements for CNA certification are in state where the prospective health care professionals plan to work as a CNA in order to be sure that the CNA training attended covers all of them.

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