Certified nursing assistants, also known as nursing aids, work at the front line of patient care. They assist doctors and registered nurses and facilitate the daily living care and activities of patients in elderly care facilities, as well as psychiatric and medical hospitals.
To become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), you must complete the required training approved in your state and should pass the certified nursing assistant certification exam. The training program will include lectures on nursing mechanics and nutrition, and hands-on procedural skills.
The entire course will take a minimum of 75 hours, and is offered at various healthcare trade schools, or home health agencies all over the country.
Certified Nursing Assistant Certification Exam
When you’ve completed the required training, you will be eligible to take the for the nursing assistant certification exam. The CNA exam is divided into two parts:
- Written Portion – this includes a multiple-choice type of exam that will test your theoretical knowledge and other competencies, which you have learned during your time taking the course. Generally, the questions are based around the subjects of medical procedures, patient care, safety and patient privacy.
- Clinical Portion – the second part is designed to measure your procedural skills, or hands-on experience. You will be asked to demonstrate three or more skill sets. To do well, you need to show a lot of confidence and aim to be as close to ‘perfect’ when demonstrating your the tasks that the test administrator asks you to perform.
Certified Nursing Assistant Certification Renewal
Most states in the US require CNAs to renew their certification every two years. This is to keep the certified nursing aides consistently updated on industry changes and to improve the healthcare industry as a whole.
You should expect to upgrade certain skills and expand upon your theoretical knowledge. Its also a great idea to spend some time working properly in the field, to enhance your skills in certain clinical procedural areas.
Be sure to stay up-to-date with the expiration date of your CNA certificate to avoid certain penalties. There’s also a small fee and a little paperwork to renew your CNA certification. You can also take advantage of the Internet to complete the renewal process – making everything a whole lot easier.
Lastly, keep yourself well acquainted of any changes in your state’s, or your employer’s CNA regulations. It’s your responsibility to know about new requirements and to continue your education, to enable yourself to remain a certified nursing assistant.