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Harborview phlebotomy - programs - courses - certification

Certified Nursing Assistant - CNA Classes

Certified Nursing Assistant
CNA - CNA training - Certification

What education or certification will I need to become a certified nursing assistant?

Unlike many other nursing jobs, a certified nursing assistant doesn’t need  a high school diploma or earn a bachelor’s degree or higher to practice.  Formal Cna training resulting in a post-secondary CNA Certificate is required. The nursing assistant training program typically marries basic nursing principles with hands-on supervised clinical work.  

Nursing Assistant Classes graduates aren’t completely done once their state-required education is complete. They must pass a state exam proving their competency and if they do so, they are listed in the state registry. The                                                    can provide comprehensive information on what exactly is needed to become a CNA.  Some will require a background (criminal) check or continuing education.

Certified Nursing Assistant Job Description:

​​A certified nursing assistant job includes wearing many hats.  A certified nursing assistant’s (CNA) main role is to provide basic care to patients, as well as assist them in daily activities they might have trouble with on their own, such as bathing. Because of the personal nature of the job, a certified nursing assistant job description must include people skills and the ability to compassionate and enjoy helping others. In nursing or long-term care facilities, a CNA is often a patient’s main caregiver.

CNAs also work with medical technology, like billing software, health information software and medical record charting software. In some facilities, a CNA will administer medication to patients, but this usually depends on the CNAs level of training and experience, as well as state regulations.

CNAs report to either registered nurses or licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses. They should have phenomenal communication skills since it’s their job to bring all patient concerns and issues to their supervisor.

What does a certified nursing assistant job description consist of?
CNAs assist patients with daily activities and while some CNAs have additional responsibilities, the core functions on the job include:

  • Bathe and dress patients
  • Serve meals and help patients eat
  • Take vital signs
  • Turn or reposition patients who are bedridden
  • Collect information about conditions and treatment plans from caregivers, nurses and doctors
  • Provide and empty bedpans
  • Lift patients into beds, wheelchairs, exam tables, etc.
  • Answer patient calls
  • Examine patients for bruises, blood in urine or other injuries/wounds
  • Clean and sanitize patient areas
  • Change bed sheets and restock rooms with necessary supplies

Nursing assitants also serve as a conduit between patients and nurses and doctors and record and communicate all issues to medical staff.  Other Nursing assistant duties might include transporting patients to operating rooms or treatment units and setting up equipment at a nurse or doctor’s request.

CNAs should understand the job isn’t glamorous and can be graphic at times. From dressing wounds to cleaning a patient after an accident, CNAs are often put to the test on a daily basis.

Because CNA jobs can cause burn out, you may decide to head in another direction with your nursing career. If that’s the case, an associate’s degree can help you become a registered nurse.

What career paths can I take as a certified nursing assistant?
CNAs work in state, local and private hospitals, but they’re most prevalent in nursing and long-term care facilities. Due to the nature of the medical field, the likelihood you’ll be asked to work irregular hours (nights, weekends and holidays) is high.

Nursing and long-term care facilities:

As the population ages and those who are disabled and need long-term care, the role of certified nursing assistants has become more necessary. If you’re interested in working as a CNA for an extended period of time, one of these facilities could be right for you. The upside of working in a nursing home or long-term care facility is the relationships you make with patients and job security.

Hospitals: While the tasks are generally similar, a hospital CNA usually doesn’t spend as much time with the same patients since most are discharged within a maximum of a few days. However, if you’re more interested in working in a faster-paced environment, a hospital could be for you. Hospitals can also provide CNAs with experience in different departments, such as the emergency room.