Many people choose to enter the medical field as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) before advancing their educations to other degrees in the medical field. The decision to become a CNA comes with the opportunity to help needy patients. The medical field has many opportunities for those who are interested in entering the field. There are positions available for those with all skill and education levels.
What is a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA has the responsibility of providing the basic needs of patients of various ethnicities, ages, and genders so that these patients can maintain their quality of life. Most often, this type of care takes place in an outpatient clinic or nursing care facility, but other facilities may include hospitals, nursing homes, personal homes, adult day care centers, and assisted living facilities. CNAs serve as liaisons between doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, and patients.
CNAs have daily contact with patients. They gather important information regarding patients’ conditions and transfer that information to their immediate supervisors. These medical professionals can have very intense workloads. CNAs work in a fast-paced environment helping others with their needs. CNAs are compassionate about helping others as they go through their difficult times. CNAs are the eyes and ears of the medical facilities in which they work.
Educational Requirements to Become a CNA
CNAs require educational training before they can qualify for positions. CNAs can take quite a few education routes. Many of them receive training through a diploma program in a few months so that they can begin working sooner. Diploma programs are available through online and on campus classes. They can also receive their education from community colleges in less than one year. Some even choose to participate in training through their local Red Cross. In rare cases, they can receive training to become CNAs through on the job training option through hospitals and other medical facilities.
Many training programs for CNAs last approximately 4 to 6 weeks. They may want to participate in longer programs depending on what they want to do with their futures. Many use the CNA career as a stepping stone to become Registered Nurses (RNs) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN).
All Nursing Assistants must take exams before they can certify. After they receive their training to become Nursing Assistants, they must take a competency exam that is based on their understanding of practical skills and knowledge as well as they understanding of their book knowledge learned during their training. There are varieties of test prep materials that students can use that range from supplemental textbook materials to exam prep books. Students should have no problem passing the exam when using these materials.
The CNA exam or the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) is the exam that CNAs must take to certify. The exam consists of a hands-on exam, and an oral or written exam. Students must pass both sections of the exam to qualify for certification. The written section is approximately 70 questions long and is in multiple-choice format. Students must display their competency in 5 out of 25 selected skills.
Study Guide for CNA State Board Exam
Most nursing assistant students use a study guide to help them study for the Certified Nursing Assistant CNA exam. Study guides will help break down the material the student learned in CNA class. It will help the student focus on what material to study and what type of questions will most likely be asked on the exam. Since the CNA exam is ususally two parts, nursing assistant skills and book material, it is imperative the student practices their skills learned in class as well.
A great study guide to help nursing assistants pass the CNA exam is called “CNA Certified Nursing Assistant Exam Cram“. Here is what it looks like:
Tips on How to Pass the Certified Nursing Assistant Exam
Use all supplemental tools that come with the textbooks.
- Create a study group of the strongest classmates to help prepare for the exam.
- Create a study plan at the beginning of the class and stick to it.
- Make flashcards for difficult concepts.
- Study the notes from class each day.
- Meet with the professors to discuss any things not understood.
- Ask questions during class.
- Use the Internet to find study tools.
- Take a few practice tests before signing up to take the real exam.
- Constantly search for new study tools.
- Compare notes with others in class.
- Rewrite the notes from the lecture while studying.
- Participate in exam prep classes offered on campus and online.
- Utilize free tutors provided by the school.
- Find a partner and quiz each other.
- Get as much hands on experience as possible by volunteering in medical facilities.
- Take all classes seriously.
- Strive to make high grades in all classes.
Studying to become a CNA is one of the greatest things that people can do for their careers. They are the ones who communicate daily with patients while providing for their basic needs. Attending school to become a CNA can take as little as 4 weeks in some cases. Students can quickly enter the medical field and begin helping others. CNAs play a very important role in patient care.