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.