Once you’ve decided to become a CNA you must next choose and enroll in a training program. In today’s competitive job arena, employers are looking for the cream of the crop. They know they can be choosey and are looking for more than a person with a certificate. They want to know they are hiring an employee who has had solid classroom and clinical (hands on) experience. You can increase your hiring potential by selecting a CNA program that will provide these key components.
One of the most important criteria you should look for in a CNA program is that of accreditation. Each state has requirements and specifications a school must meet to become accredited. The United States requires that all CNAs pass a state governed certification exam. If the program you attend is not accredited, you will not be able to become certified.
You will also want to visit your prospective program to ask about the quality of the curriculum. It’s important to look for a school that provides classes and “hands on” training taught and supervised by Registered Nurses. Nurses are trained not only in patient care practices, but also have extensive knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the body. They can explain the “why” behind the “how” as you learn patient care skills. And while it may be tempting to sign up for a three week program vs. a three month program, you will want your learning experience to be thorough. Your CNA program should teach you how to provide superior patient care, and prepare you to successfully pass your certification exam.
Some questions you should ask as you narrow your choices for a CNA training program are:
- Does the program provide the medical knowledge you will need to perform your job well
- Does the program include training on safety, ethics and legal issues?
- Does it prepare you for emergency situations and for dealing with combative patients?
- Does the program have an onsite lab where you can practice skills?
- Does it provide you with the opportunity to become CPR certified without an additional fee?
- Will you have extensive, supervised “hands on” experience during your training?
Each of these questions answered positively increases the likelihood that you are enrolling in a high quality CNA program.
Making the choice to become a CNA is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Certified nurse assisting can be a secure and rewarding career. Attending a high quality school will prepare you to perform your job well, and will provide a stable income and immeasurable job satisfaction for years to come.
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