CNA schools offer entry level medical and nursing training for students who want to work as certified nursing assistants. These professionals work in hospitals and other health care facilities such as rehabilitation centers and nursing homes by providing assistance to nurses and doctors in performing routine tasks such as patient care and documentation. The field of nursing assistance is forecasted as one of the fastest-growing careers today. With the increasing need for health care professionals, more and more schools are offering CNA programs.
Responsibilities of a CNA
The responsibilities of a CNA are diverse. These include providing patient care such as grooming, giving baths, feeding, and observing vital signs. CNAs are also needed to help patients with mobility. Even bedridden patients require some help doing morning exercises, which CNAs can assist with. CNAs are also there when the patient needs assistance when going from the room to other parts of the hospital for medical or diagnostic procedures. Although CNAs are primarily there to assist the nurses and doctors, they are also knowledgeable about basic emergency topics such as CPR.
Where to Look for CNA Schools
Programs for certified nursing assistants are offered by most vocational schools or technical and community colleges. A program is relatively short, usually taking about 6 to 12 weeks to finish. Clinical practice is also a requirement for completion of the course, but the number of required clinical hours vary from state to state. There are schools and universities that advertise their CNA programs online. Some schools offer traditional classes only, but there are some that also offer online courses for students who are working full time.
How to Choose CNA Schools
The first step in choosing the best CNA schools is to see if the schools are accredited or not. Accreditation means that the school has passed state regulations and standards. Nursing assistant schools should be registered with credible nursing accreditation commissions such as the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The credibility of a school can be measured by its affiliation with these commissions, aside from other factors such as facilities offered by the school, cost of training, and the caliber of its instructors.
Requirements for Becoming a CNA
Aside from the coursework and clinical practice hours, graduates of CNA schools are required to take the NNAAP or the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program. They must pass this exam in order to legally work as a
CNA. Other requirements for practice vary from state to state. Some CNA schools have ties with employers which makes it easier for them to match graduates with jobs after they graduate and pass the NNAAP.
Only the best CNA schools can offer dedicated students the skills and knowledge they need to succeed as professional certified nursing assistants. Certified and credible schools produce the best quality of professionals who can provide equally excellent patient care. These schools are also more likely to provide opportunities for higher education and better salary prospects when their graduates join hospitals and health facilities.