Things you Need to Know Before Starting a Career as a Nurse Aide
Thinking of building a career as a nurse aide? Before you decide that this is the career path for you, there are many things you need to consider first.
It is a fact, that there is a huge demand for certified nursing assistants or CNA practitioners across many U.S. hospitals, nursing homes, and health centers. These industries are providing tons of opportunities for nursing jobs. If you think that you have what it takes to make it as a nursing assistant, there are many ways to help propel you to a successful future career in the highly-driven healthcare industry.
CNA Certification Programs
First, you need to acquire a CNA certification. There are various types of CNA programs that you can explore when researching on the job description and responsibilities of a nurse. In fact there are CNA programs in 50 states across the nation. These programs require having at least 75 hours of CNA classes and manual skills training sessions.
However, some states may ask for more training hours depending on their standards and requirements. Once you start your classes, you’ll find yourself studying different subjects. These include basic nutrition, medical terminologies, anatomy, and physiology as well as understanding your patient’s rights. Make sure that you have a CNA study guide to help you through your journey.
What a CNA Job Entails
When it comes to practical application, you’ll learn how to conduct blood pressure readings, count heart rates and use the stethoscope. Other skills that you will learn through your certification course include how to assist a patient using body movements and other forms of techniques.
Towards the end of your course, you need to experience it firsthand. You can do this through practicums and internship programs where you can apply your knowledge in a medical setting. This is as real as it gets. Therefore, you should maximize the opportunity to practice your skills and techniques to get better leverage at your work.
There are various programs offered in universities, colleges, vocational institutes, nursing school and even CNA classes online that you can choose from. Some may require a high school diploma or an English exam to assess your knowledge and skills. Others may also require you to provide a medical history including a rundown of your previous illnesses.
You will likely be examined by a physician to check if you are in good shape and healthy enough to take on the job of a nursing aide. To help you assess your personal abilities, you can take the Basic Nursing Skill Test.
In most states in the U.S., the Board of Nursing is the governing authority that provides nursing students with a CNA certification. However, in other states, different departments may handle the certification. These include the Division of Health Service regulation, Department of Health and Consumer Affairs or the State Department of Health Services. After you’ve successfully passed your certification exam, your CNA license will be included in the database where future employers can check your status.
A certification allows a nurse aide to become licensed without having to go through years of formal schooling. Nevertheless, the length and duration of the CNA programs depend on the schedule and requirement of the state. Some of the classes run from two to eight weeks of classroom training, practical skills and practicum.
Once you finished the course, you will be required to undergo a two-part licensure exam. The exam is broken down into a theoretical and clinical exam. It may take a couple of weeks before you get a date for your licensure exam.
Maintaining your CNA License
Once you’ve successfully acquired your CNA license, you may have to renew your license every year to maintain your status. However, it may depend on the state board in your local community. Meanwhile, in some states, you may need to continue your classes which in some cases, may be provided by your employer.
Continuing your education is an important investment that will help improve your professional career. At the same time, it will benefit your practice. Knowing the current trends, policies and updates in your field can help you work towards your career goals faster.
Working as a CNA Practitioner
As a CNA Practitioner, you’ll have a fulfilling and rewarding career in the medical industry. A nursing aide has plenty of room for career growth and opportunities. CNA graduates can also enjoy a highly-competitive nurse salary. This is especially true with the huge demand for CNA jobs across the health industry all over the U.S.
Everybody needs to take care of their health. As the aging population continues to grow, the percentage of the healthcare workforce is decreasing. This is why a lot of professionals look at this job as a sustainable career. If you think you have what it takes to be a nurse aide, make sure you apply for a certification now.