Demand for all medical professionals is on the rise, and one of the best occupations for job security is anything in the field of medicine. You don’t have to be a doctor to be a “medical professional” – even folks with no high school diploma or GED can enter into the medical field, and the entry spot? Becoming a certified nursing assistant.
Certified Nursing Assistant
A certified nursing assistant is not a nurse, but rather works under the supervision of registered nurses. CNAs perform a variety of tasks that support nursing staff, including but not limited to: patient hygiene, feeding, lifting, personal care, blood pressure readings, temperature readings, and even medication dispensing.
Ever stay in a hospital and feel like the nurses are waking you up every few hours and not letting you get enough rest to heal? Those people wearing scrubs who wheel in the thermometer are likely certified nursing assistants. CNAs work in a variety of settings, from doctor’s offices to nursing homes to free clinics to hospitals. Wherever nurses work, CNAs follow.
What Do CNA Courses Involve?
CNA courses are fairly straightforward, and the “certified” part of certified nursing assistant refers to the fact that the state certifies CNAs. At the end of training, students must pass a state exam to be added to the nurse aide registry.
All CNA courses must involve a minimum of 75 hours of classwork and 16 hours of clinical work, working directly with patients under an RN’s supervision. After completing these hours, which are usually fit into three weeks of full time training or six weeks of part-time training, the student takes the CNA exam and becomes certified.
Free CNA Training
Most CNA courses cost a few hundred dollars, and some into the thousands, for tuition. Prospective students can find free CNA training quite easily from two specific sources: nursing homes and state job training programs.
Find the largest nursing home in your area and call their Human Resources department. Ask whether they provide free nurse aide training for people who wish to be employed in the nursing home. Many large care facilities will provide completely free training is students then remain as staff members for up to a year.
State job training programs often offer free CNA training to residents: contact your state’s Department of Labor and ask for job retraining programs, then go from there to find free nurse aide courses.
With entry-level hourly rates of $9 to $16 a CNA job can be a great stepping stone to better job security.