People who are considering a hands-on career in the health care industry often choose to enroll in CNA programs (Certified Nursing Assistant). Certified nurse assistants are direct care aids that work under the supervision of a licensed nurse to assist patients with the tasks of daily living and provide feedback to the nurse about the patients condition.
CNA’s provide basic self care services to patients, including bathing and grooming, feeding assistance, toileting assistance, monitoring of vital signs, range of motion exercises, keeping patients room and belongings organized, lifting and wheelchair transfers and documentation of patient’s conditions and recording of all vital information. In addition to self care needs, CNA’s offer emotional support and social assistance.
Although some people pursue lifelong careers as a certified nursing assistant, many utilize the CNA program as a stepping stone on their path to becoming a registered nurse (RN). The program is a good choice for individuals who would like to gain work experience in the health care field before committing to lengthy nursing programs.
The lack of necessary requirements and the ease of entry into the CNA program appeal to people who are often deterred by the prerequisites necessary to be admitted to other nursing programs. A high school diploma or GED is all that is required to enroll in a certified nursing assistant program. The course is offered at community colleges and medical facilities and can be completed in 6-12 weeks. Coursework includes anatomy and physiology, infection control, nutrition and instruction in the basics of nursing. Upon completion, the student will receive a CNA certificate and will be eligible to register with The National Association for Home Care for home health aides.
After completing a CNA program, individuals can earn between $23,000 and $30,000 per year. Actual salary will depend on a variety of factors, including the chosen work environment and the length of clinical experience as a CNA. Jobs are available to certified nursing assistants in nursing homes and hospitals, assisted living facilities, mental health institutions and private home environments.
A CNA program can be your key to a health care career. The health care industry is the fastest growing sector today and the demand for CNA’s is expected to increase significantly in the next decade.