How to Gain CNA Certification Through Non-Traditional Routes

If you’re curious about the scoop on CNA Certification, than you’re probably aware what training requirements this professional-level career requires. Although there is no way of getting around your state’s required hours of textbook and clinical training, did you know you have options in how you undertake this educational mammoth? Non-traditional CNA training still involves much of the same curriculum and training modules as its more traditional counterpart, but in some cases, the non-traditional route is best for its flexibility and learning options.

Online CNA Training

Web-based educational training methods are on the rise. With a world that’s becoming ever-more connected through digital interfaces, it’s no surprise there are accredited online CNA training programs available throughout Washington State. Although this mode of training offers the highest level of scheduling flexibility, as well money-saving qualities, some may find the lack of classroom interaction to be a drawback in the path to knowledge. Regardless, if you’re interested in pursuing this form of training, contact your state’s nursing board to uncover state-accredited online training programs. Do not proceed with any online program until you confirm it holds proper accreditation. Not doing so may lead to training that does not qualify you for examination.

Hospital Training Program

Do you desire to work in a hospital setting once you’ve earned your CNA certification? If so, then you may be interested to learn certain hospitals offer in-house CNA training programs. While the coursework is similar, if not identical, to that found in traditional educational pathways, the benefits of learning in an actual hospital are limitless. Perhaps the most crucial benefit of learning in this setting is the potential of being hired immediately upon successfully passing your state’s CNA examination. Since you’re learning in a facility that regularly hires CNAs, you may be a more attractive candidate as the hospital directly oversaw your training. Of course, mingling throughout the hospital with registered nurses and physicians is an added bonus. In terms of clinical training, very few training institutions can come close to the realism of working in a hospital than choosing to learn in a hospital setting.

Red Cross Certification Training

Depending on where you live, you may be limited in non-traditional CNA training. That being noted, the American Red Cross features a CNA training program in a select number of states. As of 2014, eight states offer Red Cross CNA training, which include: Washington, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Wisconsin and California. Notice Washington State is on the list, so you may choose to obtain one of the highest-quality CNA educations available. Upon completion of this program, aspiring CNAs will have met the theoretical and clinical training hours set forth by the state’s nursing board to qualify for examination. Moreover, being trained by such a well-known, and well-respected, institution may garner more appeal during the hiring process.

Can I Get a CNA Certification Online?

In our hectic world, it’s no surprise many aspiringCNAs look to online Nursing Assistant Certification programs to begin their new career. While it’s possible to gain an accredited education online, no state in America allows its CNAs to become certified through an online examination. This being said, if you’re looking to expand your career options, but don’t have the means to attend on-campus classes then online CNA training programs may be your ideal choice.

Online Certification

Before delving into online training programs, it’s vital to understand the legalities of becoming a certified nursing assistant. With this understanding you’ll be better equipped to navigate the web of scam training programs and bogus online certification examinations.

According to the candidate handbook for certified nursing assistants in all states, taking and passing the certification examination must be done at a physical testing center. While certain states allow online exam registration, taking certification exams online is strictly prohibited. Don’t waste your time and hard-earned money on one of the countless online exam “centers.” The only result from taking one of these exams is a bill and a useless certificate of competency.

Online CNA Training Programs

While taking the CNA certification exam online is not a viable web-based option for this career, there are many accredited online-based CNA training programs available. When scouring the Internet for the best online certified nursing assistant training program, look for the following qualities:

1.) In-Person Clinical Training – Because the bulk of certified nursing assistant responsibilities involve interpersonal interactions with patients, only choose a program that offers clinical training courses. Depending on your state, this may not be an option. Some state nursing boards require a specific number of clinical training to quality for examination.

2.) Required Hours – Certain states require a minimum of 75 hours of intensive training to quality for examination. While these hours may vary according to your state, never choose a web-based training program without first determining the amount of training your state requires. Uncover this information by reviewing the Nursing Assistant Candidate Handbook published by your states board of nursing or division of professional licensing.

3.) Full Accreditation – In order for your online education make you eligible for examination, it must be accredited by your states board of education as well as the U.S. Department of Education. Since nursing assistant training programs typically don’t result in a degree, programs don’t have to be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, or CCNE.

Certified Nursing Assistant Training Curriculum

The training curriculum covered within a certified nursing assistant program may slightly vary from institution-to-institution. That being noted, core curriculum is universal among all CNA Certification Training Programs. While it’s essential to review the training requirements for your state, set forth by the nursing board, to ensure your training encompasses all required topics, the following training elements are to be expected regardless of where you attend school.

Roles and Duties of a Nursing Assistant

Certified nursing assistants are unique professionals as they work directly with patients as well as medical staff to provide the highest quality of care. The role of a certified nursing assistant is to perform specific tasks to ensure patients are comfortable, clean and basic needs are met; including cultural and spiritual needs. This level of coursework typically covers foundational responsibilities of a CNA as well as how to effectively communicate with patients and other staff members.

Anatomy and Physiology

This is the meat of your CNA training. Throughout a series of specialized coursework, you’ll learn every major bodily system in detail. Along with learning about the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, urinary, sensory and nervous systems, you’ll also delve into various topics such as human growth and development. Get ready to use flashcards as this level of coursework requires memorization of not only body parts, but also a myriad of medical terms you’ll hear on a regular basis.

Patient Personal Care Procedures

This umbrella term covers a wide array of individual curriculum. The primary responsibility of a CNA is to care for the quality of life of patients. Therefore, expect to learn about topics such as skin care, oral hygiene, dressing and undressing rules, nail care, shaving as well as bed making procedures and effective infection control.

Vital Sign Monitoring

Registered nurses are typically involved in gathering and reporting vital signs from patients immediately before or after a major procedure; however, while the patient is recovering, CNAs are required to check specific vital signs and record them at pre-designated intervals. This is an essential component of monitoring patient progress and catching potentially life-threatening conditions the moment they arise. This course explains the steps necessary to check vitals such as temperature, blood pressure and heart rate.

Specialized Patient Care Techniques

In many cases, you’ll be surrounded by patients who are unable to clearly communicate due to their age, mental health, disability or severe injuries. Therefore, most CNA training programs spend a significant portion of training on tending to specialty patients such as those with nervous system diseases, diabetes, cognitive impairments and even how to care for patients who are on their death bed.

Staying Healthy at Work – Essential Hygiene Guide for Certified Nursing Assistants

Working in a healthcare facility, and especially with children, is exciting and offers a chance to be continually challenged. While the goal of a CNA is to assist in the recovery of patients, you’re still at a higher risk of transferring illness-causing germs to others or to yourself. Even though you’re at a higher risk of catching sickness due to your close proximity to a multitude of ill patients, reduce your risk of getting sick by following these essential hygiene tips.

Isolate Scrubs

After you arrive home, don’t spend time relaxing in your scrubs. Although you may have washed your hands before and after every patient, it’s possible you’re carrying germs on your clothing. Immediately upon entering your home, place your scrubs in its own laundry hamper. The goal is to keep these clothing away from others to prevent contamination.

Every night before going to bed, wash your scrubs. While this may seem excessive to some, the key to preventing work-caused sickness is to eliminate the possibility of spreading germs throughout your home.

Adhere to Hygiene Requirements

According to state and federal law, certified personal assistants must follow strict handwashing and room sanitizing guidelines. Before ever reaching a patient, wash your hands and lower forearms for a minimum of 20-seconds. Immediately following your interaction, repeat the same handwashing cycle. Althoguh this may seem repetitive, regulations clearly state this protocol must be followed.

While tending to patients, keep an eye out for surfaces that may be contaminated. As a rule of thumb, when in doubt, sanitize. The cleaner you keep a patients room, the less likely it is the patient or yourself will succumb to the pressure of harmful germs and bacteria. Focus your cleaning on areas immediately around the patient as well as any common surfaces where visitors or medical staff place items they must touch.

Immediately Tend to Flesh Wounds

No matter how careful you are, the likelihood of accidentally cutting your skin while working is significantly high. Whether you cut your arm on a piece of medical equipment or accidentally stabbed your finger with an unused needle, treat this abrasion as a critical emergency. This is especially important when dealing with patients that feature blood born illnesses. Eliminate the possibility of infection, or disease, by stopping what you’re doing and tending to your wound without delay. Even through this may halt treatment or daily tasks, your health and the health of those around you is far more important than maintaining a set schedule.