A certified nurse aide (CNA) is an interesting and rewarding career, and Vermont offers excellent training in this field. There is a growing need for home health care in Vermont and CNA trained people have a good opportunity for upward career mobility.
Certified nurse aids in Vermont will be able to choose specializations for chronic illnesses, complex rehabilitation, mental illnesses or pediatric complications. They will also be trained to ascertain if a patient needs CPR and how to give it, help patients cope with aging and death, and they will be taught social skills for patient relations.
There are state requirements that include CNA classes, a state exam and then registering with the Vermont Licensed Nurse Aide Registry. Certifications need to be renewed every two years. If the course is taken at a college, it may be possible to get financial aid to help cover the tuition. There is some Medicare and Medicaid certified facilities that are required to reimburse CNA trained people.
The nursing exam consist of 72 questions that need to be answered within 90 minutes with an accuracy rate of 80 percent. Students will also need to perform five duties in 45 minutes with the same accuracy rate.
Federal law has made it mandatory that all CNA trainees must pass the licensed nurse aids (LNA), also known as certified nurse aide, course for a minimum of 75 hours. The Vermont State Board of Nursing requires verification that the applicant has successfully completed a three credit class on the basics of nursing.
There are 40 different schools in Vermont where 75 course hours are offered, many of the hours will be spent in an on the job facility for patient care. In most institutions, applicants must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and there will be a background check for any felony conviction.The most important subjects for focused study are English, biology, health and anatomy.
The basic nursing skills include personal care skills, mental health, psychosocial skills, basic restorative skills, communication skills and nursing team skills. Students also must complete 30 hours of supervised clinical experience in a long term health care facility or in a hospital.
A few other skills that are taught are:
• Emergency and safety procedures
• Medical terminology
• Human anatomy
• Patient’s rights
• Record keeping for patient’s respiration, blood pressure, respiration, urinal output and pulse
The American Red Cross in Vermont offers a course which is approved by the Vermont Board of Nursing. It includes 150 hours of classroom instruction and gives a solid foundation for working in the field of healthcare. CPR/AED certification is included. Students will get first hand experience in local clinical settings.
Applicants need not have a high school diploma or a GED but must be 16 years or older, complete a personal interview and screening exam successfully and attend an information session of Curriculum and Finances. Students who complete the course will be eligible for the Vermont State licensing exam and be able to apply for jobs with benefits.
The Red Cross program will teach students how to care for patients in hospital, at home or in long term facilities and help them maintain independence and quality of life.
Nursing assistant courses are conducted at community colleges, private schools, vocational schools and nursing homes. The cost of the course, length of the program and admission requirements will vary depending on the policies of the training facility.
There are many nursing homes in Vermont that may employ an applicant and then pay for their CNA training, if they feel the applicant has the aptitude and enthusiasm needed for the job. Training may take place at another facility if the nursing home is not equipped to offer CNA training.
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