CNA Career for Certified Nursing Assistants

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CNA Career Information for Certified Nursing Aides

A CNA, or certified nursing assistant helps patients with various healthcare and daily living needs under the supervision of a licensed nurse and physician. Depending on the state, a CNA can also go by other titles such as STNA (state tested nurse aide).

What is the CNA job description?

Certified nursing assistants are responsible for direct patient care and monitoring. It's a career that is very meaningful.

They assist all types of patients with activities of daily living which including eating, bathing, grooming, dressing, cleaning, toileting and more.

They also continuously monitor the patient for physical, mental, emotional and social changes and report them to the nurse for further evaluation. They are a vital part of the healthcare system and are often called the “eyes and ears” of the healthcare team.

Where can CNA's work?

Nursing Aides are employed in every healthcare field because they are vital to all ages and types of patients. The most common places of employment are long-term care facilities, nursing homes and hospitals. They can also work out of home health care agencies and do visits to a patient’s home.

What type of education is needed to work as a certified nursing aides?

CNA’s requires both classroom lecture and clinical practice as part of their training. Courses can range from a couple weeks to a few months long, depending on how often you attend class. Courses are taught by a registered nurse, and possibly assistants. Students are taught the basics of patient care, how to check vital signs and weight, patient safety, infection control and many other topics. Once a student successfully passes the written work and clinical experiences, they are allowed to register to take the state certification exam in their state.

Many institutions require CPR certification, TB testing and a background check before you can take the course.

How much does the CNA training cost?

The cost of training ranges from free to several hundred dollars. People who desire to become CNA’s can often get their training for free through a long-term care facility or nursing home. This usually requires a verbal or written agreement to stay at the facility as an employee for a certain length of time after the training is complete. If there aren’t any local facilities that has this type of opportunity, training usually costs between 300 and 600 dollars. The fee for the state certification exam varies from state to state.

What is on the CNA certification exam and how do you prepare for it?

The CNA exam consists of two part: a written test with 50-100 questions, and a skills exam where you perform skills learned in your training. The written test is different for each person, but covers all topics learned in training. The skills part will consist of performing a few skills learned in training and will be performed on mannequin or proctor acting like a patient. Of a list of around 20 skills learned, 3-4 skills will be chosen at random for the test-taker to perform. If both the written and skills test are successfully passed, the test-taker will be certified to work as a CNA. Using notes and books from your course will be sufficient enough to study from, but there are additional study guides and books that can be purchased online if the student wishes to study from additional material.

Once a CNA, what is the salary expectation?

On average, CNA’s make 10-14 dollars an hour, depending on the type of facility and the location. Home health care CNA’s often get paid per visit instead of an hourly wage if the visit is expected to be under 1 hour. CNA’s are usually paid 12-15 per visit, which includes driving time and mileage.

Facts about the CNA career field:
Over the next 20 years, an additional 700,000 CNA’s will be needed in the United States. A nursing aide career is a great start in a career in healthcare.

CNA certification is often required to enter an LPN or RN program so nursing students have a basis for their education.

In most states, CNA’s must work a specific amount of hours per year in order to keep their certification active.

A nursing aide career is a great way to help people and get started in healthcare. Give it a try today if it makes sense for you.

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