The Scoop on Certified Nursing Assistant Classes

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If becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is your goal than the first priority should be finding CNA training classes to help make your goal a reality.  In order to practice as a nurse’s aid you must first complete a state-sanctioned nursing test.  To qualify to take the test, you will need to have completed nursing assistant classes at a program duly certified by the state nursing board.

Finding CNA certification classes

There are a wide variety of providers of CNA training classes, allowing an individual to search for a training program that will best work with his or her schedule and financial situation.  The American Red Cross offers CNA certification classes, as do many vocational schools and some institutions of higher learning such as community colleges.

Another area to look into is with local healthcare facilities such as hospitals or nursing homes, which may sponsor low cost or free nursing assistant classes in order to increase the pool of qualified employees in the area.

Prerequisites for taking CNA training classes

Most programs will require that you be at least 16-18 years of age before enrolling.  A high school diploma or GED is also required by most schools as well.  Finally, registration fees will apply for most providers of nursing classes.More details on prerequisites are discussed in this post.

What subjects do CNA training classes cover?

CNA certification classes cover everything regarding the theory and practice of nursing that is needed for a student to perform the duties of a nurse’s aid.

Subjects range from basic biological and physiological theory to the proper steps to take when performing patient care procedures. Read this article to know more about how you can prepare for the CNA Exam.

A training program will be organized in two major segments; a classroom instruction portion and a clinical, or hands-on portion.

While the exact details will vary from state to state, generally from 75-120 hours of both classroom and clinical instruction combined is required to complete a program.

Classroom instruction

In this portion of your nursing assistant classes you will learn the basic biological principles behind patient care, as well as the duties and responsibilities a nurse’s aid is expected to fulfill including, among others; monitoring patient vital signs, using lab equipment, patient treatment guidelines, record keeping, and commonly used healthcare terminology.

Teaching will typically be a combination of reading assignments and lectures.

While the clinical instruction portion of your CNA certification classes must be taken in person, the classroom instruction portion can be taken either in person or online, depending on your preference.

Clinical instruction               

The hands-on portion of certified nursing assistant classes requires that you work with a licensed instructor to learn the techniques needed in caring for patients.  The duties taught are typically taken from those required in state nursing acts.  They include, among others:

a)    Helping bedridden patients.

b)    Checking for vital signs.

c)    Transportation of patients and providing ambulatory assistance when needed.

d)    Feeding patients intravenously.

e)    Cleaning and disinfecting patient rooms.

f)     Responding to patient distress signs.

g)    Documenting patient records

h)    Dietary care.  Making sure patients are following a prescribed dietary regiment when necessary.

i)     Surgery assistance.  Helping nurses ready a patient for an operation.

j)     Operation and cleaning of equipment used in various medical procedures.

k)    Patient personal and oral hygiene.  Including bathing and brushing teeth and other such tasks as necessary.

Once you’ve finished your CNA classes, you are eligible to take the CNA certification exam and, upon completion, enroll in your state’s nurse aid registry and begin practicing as a nurse’s aid.

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