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CNA Training | How to Acquire the Skills Needed by Nursing Assistants

To be able to work as a CNA, you must take up CNA training classes. CNA training is the most important part of anyone aspiring to become a CAN because it readies you with the right skills and the proper knowledge. Indeed a CNA needs the supervision of an RN or an LPN (licensed practical nurse) to perform her duties and tasks assigned for the day. But training prepares her to perform these tasks as expected of a professional and efficient member of the medical team.  

CNA Training 

CNA training is crucial to prepare CNAs and is also an employment requirement. An applicant for a position of CNA in a hospital, hospice care, acute care center, or a primary care center will be asked to submit her certificate to prove that she has undergone CNA classes. 

CNA training programs are available locally, provided by colleges, universities, and training centers. There are also online CNA training, but before taking up an online course, consider doing some research if a certificate from an online course is accepted in your state or city. 

Types of CNA Training

CNA training varies in content, length of time, the body, or group providing or supervising the training and where the training is being done. 

Certified nursing assistant training may vary in time. Some are short courses that may be easily completed in a few months. These courses offer only the basics, and although this is offered in some states, these may lack content and may be inadequate to equip a CNA with proper knowledge and skills for her work.

Meanwhile, longer CNA training programs may last up to a year or more, and these courses offer comprehensive training, including practical training where CNAs are permitted to work side by side, certified CNAs and RNs in a hospital setting. This is one of the best CNA training because it prepares a student very well not only through classroom lectures but also through practical work.

CNA training may be provided by a training center, a hospital learning center, a community college, university, or a credited online training center. Online training for CNAs may not be ideal for all students, but it gives everyone a chance to learn how to be a CNA even at the comforts of their homes. People who work full time may use this method to learn CNA while some are located remotely, and this is the only way they can access quality CNA training. But as mentioned, be sure to check if a certificate from an online training center is accepted by your city or state before signing up.

CNA training

Length of CNA Training

CNA training varies in length depending on the complexity of the training and the requirements from the state or city you are in. Short courses may be over in just six months, even sooner. These courses simply provide basic knowledge of CNA tasks and duties, and after some practical work, a qualifying exam will be given. Those who pass are provided with a certificate. 

CNA training can be intensive and may take a year or more to complete. This training is complex consisting of classroom studies and lectures that are done side by side with practical CNA training. Practical training includes hands-on training in an actual hospital or medical center. CNA trainees will work on actual tasks and duties of a certified assistant under the supervision of an instructor or an RN.

Intensive training requires that a CNA complete a certain number of hours of training as well as lecture work and written tests. There are class presentations, group works, lectures about proper work etiquette, communication, and correct mindset at work, among others. And just like short courses, intensive training for CNAs ends in an evaluation exam, but sometimes a practical exam may also be included.   

Coursework to Become a CNA 

Before actual training is done, instructors may give CNAs a guide, coursework, so they won't stray from their training or course. CNA training is set by the state board, and everything that's being taught at this level is the result of years of research to equip CNAs with the right skill set.

A typical CNA coursework includes a list of all the topics or subjects in the course, the number of hours a day for the said subject and the requirements needed to pass this subject. For instance, CNA training that includes a classroom lecture on wound care is done under the guidance of an instructor. This class may take only two to three hours to complete with a short lecture and a demonstration. 

At the end of the class, the participants will need to take a test to evaluate what they have learned, and a return demonstration is done. Only students who passed the written exam and practical exam may take credit for this course.   

Still another example of coursework in CNA training is a practical training conducted in an actual hospital setting. A CNA trainee may join certified CNAs as they go about their shift. This coursework is for eight hours per shift, just like a regular working shift of a full-time CNA. Rubrics for practical training will help her instructor evaluate trainees.  

Requirements for Your CNA License 

In most states and countries, CNAs need a CNA license.  To secure this type of license, an aspiring CNA should pass an accredited training or course. CNAs must submit license requirements, pay the fees, and take the test. 

This is a multiple-choice test that covers all the subjects, and practical training learned during a CNA course. CNAs take the licensure test on a specified date and wait till the results are out usually after 30 days. The results are announced via mail, and once an aspiring CAN passes the exam, she will be asked to come and get her license.

Licenses expire, and thus, a CNA should remember to renew this before the expiry date. Requirements for renewal vary; some states may require a CNA to take short training courses to renew her license. Some only ask the CNA for a fee. 

Characteristics of a Good CNA 

graduated CNA

There are available CNA training and CNA programs near me if you’re looking for good training centers. These training centers will not just teach you the knowledge and the skills set of being a CNA but also ways to interact with patients and fellow staff members. 

CNAs work very closely with patients even far closer than other members of the health team for CNAs are often tasked to help patients with their daily tasks like feeding, cleaning, and bedding changes. They may assist patients in using the commode, helping patients hold their eating utensils, or take their medication, which RNs and LPNs may have no time for.

A good CNA possesses impressive skills and knowledge of the nursing principles of her daily tasks. She knows how proper wound care is done and understands infections and infection control is important in any setting. And as she provides proper wound care, she knows how to talk to patients, how to make patients less uncomfortable and less frightened with the treatment. 

A CNA knows what to respond to the patient's inquiries about her condition and how to reassure her patients. Since a CNA works closely with patients, she may also meet the patient's relatives and friends. She may also ask the help of the patient's family or instruct them on how to perform basic tasks, especially if a patient needs continuing treatments at home.

A good CNA must also know how to work closely with her supervisors, doctors, and therapists, other members of the health team. She must know how to properly endorse patients to the next shift or the CNA that will take over the next shift. She must learn how to communicate in basic medical terms, abbreviations used in the industry. This is important in reporting and in evaluating the condition of the patient in any medical setting.

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