Certified nurse assistants provide a vital service in the modern health care system. Working alongside and under the supervision of registered nurses and other medical professionals, they provide care and assistance to patients. From turning patients in order to prevent the development of bedsores to administering nutritional supplements and meals, without CNAs most hospitals and rehabilitation centers simply could not function. For this reason, CNAs are in tremendous demand, making this a rewarding and life long career.
Given the current economic difficulties California is experiencing, especially in the Los Angeles area, many new graduates are seeking out reliable employment that does not require the expense of a four-year college. Other individuals are seeking to switch careers, wanting a more rewarding career that offers a real chance to make a difference.
Fortunately, there are a large number of colleges local to Hollywood that have state approved CNA programs, which can assist those who are newly graduated from high school, as well as those who are reentering the job market after an absence. In fact, many of these programs offer evening and weekend courses, recognizing that in today’s economy, becoming a full time student is not a viable option for many individuals.
Before a candidate can enroll in a CNA training program, he or she needs to meet the entrance requirements:
• Be at least 16 years of age.
• Been fingerprinted and have had your fingerprints submitted to the California live scan service.
• Have no convictions or disciplinary actions that would bar the applicant from receiving a CNA certificate or entry into a training program. (Any criminal convictions, save for minor traffic infractions must be reviewed).
• Been given a physical to insure that the applicant has no medical conditions that would make it impossible to act as a certified nurse assistant or might pose a danger to his or her patients or co-workers.
• Have a valid GED or high school diploma.
Proof of these qualifications is needed before an individual can enter the program. Some of these requirements can take a number of weeks to complete and document, so it is important to have everything ready before any enrollment deadlines come due.
Once accepted, the student will have to complete the class work and pass a California exam in order to become a certified nurse assistant. This generally takes a full semester, although it might take longer for part time students.
The class work includes both traditional classes and working with patients under the supervision of instructors. This last part is important, providing the hands on experience that really prepares the future CNA for his or her future career. After all the course work is finished, the CNA must take and pass a California certification test to become a CNA. The school the student attends will provide information about where and how to take the test.
Finally, becoming a CNA doesn’t require a long journey. In the Hollywood area, there are many reputable schools with state approved programs. Among them are:
• Los Angeles City College
• North Hollywood Polytechnic Community Adult School
• Anderson Medical Career College.
• Kaplan University
• Los Angeles Career College
Finally, when considering a future as a CNA, remember that it is estimated that between 2008 and 2018, the number of CNAs will increase by 19 percent. The employment and career potential for those who become a CNA will only increase as the years go by. By choosing to become a CNA, the student has made a choice to enter a growing and secure field of employment.
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