A certified nursing assistant plays a crucial role in ensuring the overall well-being of patients by assisting them with their day-to-day activities and keeping them clean. This contribution makes them important members of any healthcare team.
CNAs are entry level positions, but they make great stepping stones to more attractive jobs in the medical field. When you work as a nursing assistant, you get first-hand experience of what it is like to be in the healthcare profession. If you enjoy it, you can acquire additional qualifications and become a licensed vocational nurse or a registered nurse and earn lucrative salaries.
The most commonly asked CNA questions are answered in this article.
Who should consider becoming a certified nursing assistant?
If you want to work in the healthcare sector and enjoy patient care, this is a job with a low entry barrier for you. This job does not require high level qualifications or a degree. You can start as soon as you finish high school. However, training is required. Once you complete the training, you will receive a post secondary, non-degree diploma or certificate. Make sure that you are enrolling in a training program approved by your state.
Anyone who has completed their high school diploma or GED can enroll in a nursing assistant training program. Community colleges, vocational schools, and medical facilities offer these training programs.
Candidates who have successfully completed the training program have to sit for the CNA certification exam. There are two parts – a written test and a practical test.
How to choose the best training program in Texas?
Nursing assistant jobs are ideal for people who want to start working as soon as possible. CNA training programs of various durations are available in Texas. While some can be completed in a few weeks, others may take a few months. Both full-time and part-time courses are available and they consist of a minimum of 100 hours of training. Of these 40 hours must be dedicated to hands-on training. Choose a program that suits your schedule.
How much does CNA training cost in Texas?
It varies depending on the program and the school chosen. While calculating the final cost, you should consider additional fees, if any, textbooks, supplies, uniforms, background checks, and exams. Knowing exactly how much it will cost beforehand will help you avoid a lot of headaches later. Visit the training school and ask them your CNA questions.
Can I complete the training online?
Some training schools offer online courses. Theoretical lessons will usually be offered online and the candidate will have to complete clinical and lab training in person. For more information, you have to contact the school of your choice.
What do CNAs do?
Nursing assistants perform several duties. They work directly with patients under the supervision of nurses. They help patients with their day-to-day activities. They usually work with patients who are incapable of taking care of themselves due to a physical disability or mental impairment. They bathe and groom patients and get them dressed. They feed patients and give them their medicines on time. They also turn or move patients and help to transfer them from their beds to a wheelchair.
Other duties include checking the vital signs of patients, cleaning their rooms, and communicating with their family members. A nursing assistant needs good communication skills and higher levels of empathy. They have to be patient, listen carefully to what their patients say, and make them as comfortable as possible. People suffering from physical disabilities are often anxious and upset. A good nursing aide should be able to put their mind at ease.
Where do CNAs work?
This is one of the commonly asked CNA questions. Certified nursing assistants work in a variety of healthcare settings. These include:
- Senior care homes
- Nursing homes
- Rehabilitation centers
Occasionally, they may also work in clinical facilities.
What are the educational requirements for a CNA?
Nursing assistants perform entry-level jobs in a care home or hospital, so their educational requirements are not particularly high. Although the exact requirements can vary from state to state, aspiring CNAs usually have to complete a training program approved by their state. High schools, vocational schools, community colleges, and some hospitals as well offer these training programs. These courses can be completed in 4 to 8 weeks.
Certification requirements vary. However, usually, there is an oral or written examination. You may also have to demonstrate your ability to perform certain tasks. Getting certified is crucial because, without the certification, you cannot apply for jobs.
How much does a CNA earn?
CNAs earn about $13.50/hour on average, or $28,000/year. This is an entry-level job, so the salary is not particularly high. However, many people who start their careers as nursing aides eventually become registered nurses and earn much higher salaries.
What exactly is the career outlook for a CNA?
CNAs have excellent career prospects. As the population ages, there will naturally be an increase in the demand for caregivers. For many who start working as CNAs, it is merely a stepping stone to a career in nursing or another aspect of healthcare. Working as a nursing assistant is an opportunity for you to find out whether you enjoy caring for patients. If you do enjoy this job, there are online nursing programs that prepare you for your BSN degree and RN licensure.
You can complete these courses while you are still working as a CNA. A career in nursing is more rewarding, both emotionally and financially. Now, if you realize that you do not enjoy patient care after working as a nursing assistant for a while, you can switch to other professions like health services coordination and health information management.
Are there any minimum education requirements?
To work as a nursing assistant in a Texas nursing home, you have to successfully complete a nursing assistant training program and pass a competency evaluation examination. There are no minimum education requirements for nursing assistants.
What if I fail the exam?
If you fail the written/oral exam or the competency evaluation after completing the training program, you can retake the exam twice. If you fail in all three attempts, you have to complete the training program again before you can retake the test.
If you are already on the nursing assistant registry in another state, you will be considered qualified. Of course, you have to complete the HHSC documentation.
When will I receive my certificate?
You will receive the certificate in about 4-6 weeks after passing the exam. Your certificate does not have an expiration date. However, you have to contact the Nurse Aide Registry at least once every two years to verify that your employment status is active. If your status on the Nurse Aide Registry is not active, you are not employable.
How do I apply to take the CNA exam?
In most states, you can apply online. You can find the application link under the Candidate Resource section on the home page of your state’s website. Applying online is the easiest method.
Can I take the exam at home?
The Internet Based Testing System is available in some states. In this case, students can take the secured proctored test online at approved Prometric testing centers. You can find a list of approved test centers at www.prometric.com/nurseaide.
How long is the CNA certification exam?
The written examination is of 90 minutes and the clinical exam can take 31-40 minutes depending on the specific tasks assigned.
What ID proofs should I bring to the test center?
While appearing for your examination, you have to bring with you two valid identity cards. The names on both cards must be exactly the same as the name on your application form and admission letter. You must bring in original ID cards. Photocopies are not accepted.
One identity card must contain your latest photograph and signature. It could be your driver’s license, passport, alien registration card, or any other state-issued identity card. It could also be an identity card issued by your employer or your school provided that it has your photograph and signature on it.
The second ID card has to be a signature identification. It could be your social security card, credit card, gym card, or library card that has your signature on the back. The name on the second ID card must match the name on the first ID card.
Where can I find the study material for the exam?
Study material and practice tests are available at prometric.com website. Exams conducted by Prometric are made according to the NA curriculum approved by the state. For a small fee, candidates can access the practice tests for the clinical and written modules on their website.
The healthcare sector is booming partly due to the aging population and lifestyle changes. Consequently, the number of jobs available in this sector continues to increase. Getting a CNA certification is the first step to starting a stable career in caregiving. The best part is that you can start working immediately after high school by simply completing a short-term course in nursing assistant training.