how to become certified nurse assistant

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how to become a certified nurses assistant

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are healthcare professionals who provide intimate, hands-on healthcare to patients in medical settings under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN), or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). CNAs assist patients with bathing, dressing and any other basic activities involved in daily life.

Becoming a CNA

Dissimilar from other professionals in the nursing field, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are not required to hold a college degree. However, training is required, resulting in a postsecondary non-degree certificate or diploma. CNA credentials are issued by state, so prospective nursing assistants just need to enroll in a state-sanctioned training program and then pass a state certification exam.

What Are the Education Requirements for a CNA?

When becoming a CNA, individuals are required to have obtained a high school diploma or GED, plus nursing assistant training. You can find these programs at community colleges, trade schools, and medical facilities. Before enrolling, prospective CNAs should be sure the program they’re looking into is approved by their state’s nursing board and by the National League for Nursing Accredited Commission (NLNAC).

Upon successful completion of CNA training, individuals will subsequently be required to pass a CNA certification examination. This exam consists of two parts – a written part and a practical part. The written exam will be taken in a group setting and typically consists of a number of multiple choice-style questions. Test takers have 90 minutes to answer. The second portion, the clinical skills exam, is administered one at a time with a single test proctor/observer. Individuals will be tested on four randomly selected clinical skills to demonstrate their competency. They will have 30 minutes to complete this section of the exam.

what is a cna

What Does a Certified Nursing Assistant Do?

Certified nursing assistants work under the supervision of licensed nursing professionals. They care for patients who are infirm, ill, injured, disabled and otherwise unable to care for themselves. In many settings, CNAs are the health professionals whom patients encounter most often. A CNA performs a variety of basic duties that are important for the patient’s comfort and recovery. These tasks vary depending on the employment setting.

What Are the Roles & Duties of Certified Nursing Assistants?

The roles and duties of CNAs can include the following:

  • Turning or repositioning bedridden patients
  • Taking patients’ temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs
  • Answering patient calls
  • Documenting patients’ health issues and reporting to nurses
  • Feeding patients, measuring and recording their food and liquid intake
  • Cleaning rooms and bed linens
  • Helping with medical procedures
  • Dressing wounds
  • Gathering supplies for the RN or MD
  • Bathing patients
  • Combing hair, shaving, caring for nails and brushing teeth
  • Stocking supplies
  • Preparing rooms for admissions

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