Certified nursing assistants are a vital part of any medical team. They work under the supervision of nurses to provide quality care to patients and nursing home residents. This may include daily activities such as recording vital signs, bathing, feeding, and providing basic comfort and care for the patient or resident. They may also help nurses administer medications and assist with accurate record keeping. The job of a CNA can be both emotionally and physically exhausting which makes it important to possess certain characteristics such as patience, professionalism, compassion, and be highly observant. Maintaining good physical health is important as nursing assistants are required to lift patients who are unresponsive or debilitated.
Certification for a nursing assistant is a mandatory requirement in most facilities. This ensures that the nursing aide has received the proper education and skills to perform their job effectively. A nursing assistant without certification may have the same experience and knowledge as a CNA, but are unable to perform certain tasks and duties due to issues with liability and legal reasons. Receiving certification allows potential employers to verify the experience of the CNA and also assist them in hiring employees who have had their licensed revoked or invalidated for any particular reason. Providing healthcare to patients is an extremely important responsibility so it is crucial that every member on the team performs their duties as ethically and morally as possible.
There are several schools in the San Francisco area that offer full CNA program training for those who are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. NCP Career College offers a nursing assistant training program that consists of coursework in the classroom and clinical training that prepares their students to become skilled and proficient nursing assistants. After completion of the program, students are eligible to take the Competency Evaluation Program Testing to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.
American Carequest Inc. offers a 21 day program that includes both classroom instruction and clinical training. After completing 50 hours of work in the classroom and 100 clinical hours, students are prepared and eligible to take a state competency exam to receive their certification. City College of San Francisco and Oxford College both offer programs that prepares students for official certification exam.
Course requirements for nursing assistant training programs may vary from each institution; however, most schools require that students be 16 years of age or older, received a high school diploma or GED, must pass a tuberculosis screening, and must be able to pass a fingerprinting and criminal background check. In training, students must show competency in performing all necessary duties to receive the certificate of completion that is required to take the certification test. The certification exam includes both written and a test of practical skills that is performed before a state testing agency representative to show competency of physical skills. Certification is given immediately after passing the state exam.
The education involved in becoming a CNA is relatively brief compared to other professions in healthcare. Positions in the medical field are always in high demand and various facilities are always on the lookout for qualified and compassionate CNA’s. It may also open many doors to the medical field that many don’t realize are there. For example, some nursing assistants don’t realize how far in the healthcare they would like to go until they become a CNA. Becoming a CNA can help prepare an individual for nursing school if they desire to advance their career in the medical industry.
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