Introduction: Guide Towards Becoming a CNA
I used to be one of the people who couldn’t find a decent job because of the recession, and the situation has gotten really difficult. I have never considered a career in the health care field because I believed that going to medical school is way beyond my financial abilities. However, a lucky chance brought me to a nursing facility that was short on CNAs. There, I discovered that entering the medical field wasn’t as difficult as I used to believe.
Today, I work as a CNA (certified nursing assistant) in a hospital and make much more money than I could hope for while holding any other position at the same level. I also have continued my training in order to become a registered nurse. I still do not know where I will go from there, but I do know that I have the power to build a great future with my own hands.
If you are as lost as I was in the beginning of my journey, I hope that the following guide to becoming a certified nursing assistant will help you progress in life and achieve your personal goals.
Step 1: Choosing a School
Look up your state’s requirements for CNAs online and you will know what exactly you need to do in order to be allowed to work in this field officially. The rules vary from one state to another. In the majority of cases, you will be required to complete a training course and pass a certification exam.
There are many different institutions that offer CNA classes. You will need to choose the one that meets your personal requirements best. Your options are:
• Nursing homes and hospitals
• The Red Cross
• Community colleges
• Online classes
The courses offered by health care facilities are usually free and provide you with employment by default. In fact, you will sign a contract that will bind you to a hospital for several months. During this time, your salary will be a little lower than average, but this money will be used to cover the cost of your training. If you need to start working fast, this definitely is a wise solution.
In case you already have a full time job and look at being a CNA as a way to make additional money, online classes will be the most beneficial for you. They are the most flexible in terms of their schedule, and their cost isn’t high. See website with some more helpful information about these classes if you are interested in this option. There is a lot of information on this subject available online. Regardless of the type of the training program that you choose, you must make sure that it’s accredited in your state and that it will provide you with the knowledge necessary to succeed in this job.
Step 2: Studying
A certified nursing assistant’s training course consists of two parts. The first one is theory. You will be required to complete several dozen hours of studies in order to get the necessary knowledge of the following subjects:
• Infection control
• Patient rights
The exact curriculum may change depending on your school, but these are the main subjects that should be present in every program. The knowledge you acquire from these classes will help you become a responsible CNA capable of helping people in the most desperate situations and providing them with proper care.
The second part of your training will be conducted in a hospital setting or a nursing home. During this time, you will learn to implement your knowledge under the supervision of qualified nurses. The number of hours of mandatory practice that you have to undergo is determined by the state.
Step 3: Exam and Certification
Completing a training program shouldn’t be a serious worry for you. The real challenge lies with the state exam you need to pass in order to become a certified nursing assistant. This exam is comprised of two parts, like the training program, and it’s designed in a way that puts the examinees under a significant amount of stress. This is done in order to make sure that people will be able to perform their duties properly even in an extreme situation. When you start working and encounter your first emergency, you will definitely appreciate the harsh exam and training that precedes it. However, it will be hard to persuade yourself of this during the exam itself. Thus, you should do your best to prepare for it.
If you manage to pass the exam successfully, you will get a certificate that states that you are now officially qualified to work as a CNA. After this, you will need to register with your local Nursing Association, and you will be able to start working and gaining invaluable experience in this field.
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