The usefulness of a certified nursing assistant in a medical setting cannot be overemphasized. Probably as a testament of this fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job outlook of 21 percent for the profession through 2022. This is no doubt a good reason to consider working as a CNA. Perhaps, you are already contemplating becoming a CNA, or know someone who is, and you are wondering how to go about it. Read on.
Who is a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is part of what is called unlicensed assistive personnel. This class of paraprofessionals usually works under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs). A CNA assists patients or individuals with health care needs in performing such tasks such as dressing, feeding or eating and bathing, amongst others. Given the nature of their duties, CNA may work for several hours standing.
Becoming a CNA
The only reason you are probably reading this is for ideas on how to become a CNA. What steps should you take?
Determine fit – The first step to take toward becoming a CNA is to determine how appropriate such a job is to your person. You need to be fully aware and prepared for the sort of tasks you may have to handle. This could include changing dirty bed sheets, taking care of bed pans and, of course, relating patiently with people in need of care and attention. It is also advisable that you determine how appropriate working as a CNA will be to your long-term career goal.
Register for CNA classes – You have options when it comes to registering for classes. If you are too busy to attend or not ready for classes in a campus setting, you can look for CNA classes to take online. This means you can keep your day job while learning on the side. Aside being flexible, online CNA courses are also less-expensive compared to conventional classes.
Undergo training – After deciding the form of CNA classes you want, it is time to complete requisite training. CNA training programs take any length of time from 3 weeks to 6 months. A program usually involves reading, discussions and online assignments, amongst others. One argument for campus CNA programs is that they allow access to practical training, not just theories. But then, a good online program will also provide practical, hands-on training.
Take and pass exams – It is required for anyone aspiring to become a CNA to undergo at least 75 hours of classroom and practical training. At the completion of this compulsory training, you are expected to sit for and pass necessary examinations to qualify for a CNA license.
Use your certificate – You have done all that is required once you get your license, right? Not exactly. It is required for CNAs to be employed for their license to remain valid. Your license may become void after being unemployed as a CNA, or similar, for more than two years.
If you think yourself a caring, patient and understanding person, working as a CNA might just be perfect for you. There is also opportunity to become a registered nurse or other allied health professional by taking relevant courses.