When you go to school to become a certified nursing assistant you will learn how to fulfill your future job responsibilities and to keep your patients safe, happy and comfortable. You will also learn the technical tasks that will allow you to do your job to the best of your ability. Although the information that is thrown at you may seem overwhelming at first, once you get into the swing of things your job tasks will become second nature to you. The other part of the good news about becoming is certified nursing assistant is that you will not have a difficult time finding gainful employment. CNA’s are always in high demand. This is mainly due to the population growth and the fact that the Baby Boomer Generation has reached a point where they need greater, more specialized care; care that you will be licensed to provide once you go through your training.
A CNA class is set up in a way that you can do the textbook reading, practice the skills you learn and have hands on experiences that will prepare you for your future career. There are several ways that the CNA instructor teaches the things you need to know. The main ways that instruction is given include the following:
These classes are typically taught by registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. The time it takes to complete your training depends on the class you sign up for. However, the basic training class lasts about six weeks of full time learning to complete. If you choose a part time training program it can take up to four months to complete. Choose the type of program that best suits your needs and schedule. Once you finish up though, you will have to pass your state licensure in order to work as a nursing assistant.
The main areas you will learn about in your CNA classes deal with psychosocial care, roles that nursing assistants play and physical skills. Each of these areas is equally important in keeping your patients and yourself safe.
Psychosocial skills are basically a fancy way of saying people skills. If you are going to be a nursing assistant, having people skills is an absolute must since you will be caring for people who are ill, in fragile conditions and often frightened. The skills you will learn in your certified nursing assistant training class will teach you the following people skills:
You will also learn how to cope with the needs and emotions of the patients families. Because you are the one who will be working closest with the patients, the family will look to you for answers and often time, comfort.
Your training program will also teach you about your role as a nursing assistant. There are many guidelines and regulations that you will have to learn and follow to be able to get and keep your CNA license. You will be taught what your ethical and legal obligations are, and your place in the work environment; the pecking order if you will. Each type of facility has a chain of command which you must adhere to in order for things to run smoothly. This is something that you will be taught during your training. In addition to all of this, the rights of your patients will also be discussed and how to keep patient records and other information confidential. Confidentiality is a huge role you will play as a nursing assistant and this is not something that can be taken lightly. Patient privacy is something that will have to be at the top of your priority list.
The physical skills you will learn in your training are just as much for your own safety as it is for the safety of your patients. You will learn how to properly lift and transfer patients. You will be trained in the use of equipment such as Hoyer lifts and shower chairs. You will learn the best body mechanics practices in order not to injure yourself or your patients, and you will be trained in the use of gait belts; one of the most important tools in the CNA arsenal. Physical skills also include how to turn a patient, how to feed a patient, and how to practice good infection control procedures (this includes learning the proper use of personal protective equipment or PPE).
Although there are other areas of training that you may receive, the above are the most basic of them all. In order to be a good nursing assistant and pass your state licensure exam, you will have to be proficient in all the training areas. Remember, if you do not pass the first time you can always take the test again after doing some more studying, or perhaps taking parts of the training program over.