A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a vocation of the heart and requires a person be committed to the health and safety of their patients. Most duties of a CNA are likely to assist in the completion of various tasks, freeing nurses to focus on more extensive healthcare responsibilities. It is imperative that a CNA be devoted to helping others and has an attitude that no assignment is insurmountable. The CNA must treat their patients with respect and maintain their dignity as much as possible, after all the CNA is there to help their patients do those things they can not do for themselves. A qualified Certified Nursing Assistant can find employment in hospitals, nursing homes or assisted living facilities and in private home health care settings.
For a person looking to break into the health care field the American Red Cross CNA training is a great place to start. It is available in many states though the course hours may vary based on specific state requirements. The Red Cross course is a highly acclaimed, fast paced and comprehensive curriculum and may be completed in as little as two months. The participant is expected to successfully complete both classroom and hands on skill activities.
The following is a list of the minimum requirements for an American Red Cross CNA student:
· Be at least 18 years of age or older
· Have no felony convictions in the past 7 years
· Be free of any communicable diseases
· Pass a TB screening
· Not be currently pregnant
The American Red Cross course will entail classroom instruction, laboratory practice, and actual supervised experience with patients in a hospital or nursing home setting. Classrooms are set-up with all the necessary equipment to do the job such as hospital beds, practice mannequins, bed pans, wheelchairs and most likely a real Hoyer lift. Students learn how to move patients from bed to wheelchair and back again, how to take a patient’s vital signs and provide assistance with feeding, bathing, grooming, dental care and so forth.
Applicants are required to pass a two-part exam upon completion of the training course. The entire process takes about 5 ½ hours. A skill assessment must be passed first before taking the written portion of the exam. Participants are notified of their test results the same day and will receive their state CNA certification a short time afterward.
The path to becoming an American Red Cross certified CNA is strenuous but in the end rewarding. To help another person with the simple tasks of day to day life and know that you are providing a real and vital service to them, makes the hardwork more than worth it.
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