Planning to break into a career in health care may not be as difficult as you would think. Getting a CNA certification is usually the best place to start, if you intend to make nursing your future career.
A CNA or Certified Nursing Assistant is a person who helps the RN (Registered Nurse) or LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) with routine tasks. This is to enable them to focus on tasks that only they can perform such as developing a care outline, administering medication, nursing assessments and assisting in surgery room preparations. The basic duties of a CNA involve feeding the patients, assisting in their activities of daily living, assistance with personal hygiene and exercise, wound dressing, making sure their room is clean and preparing the patients for surgery, examination or treatment.
The best place to start looking for places that offer free CNA classes is your local hospital. You can try asking the nursing homes around your area to see if they offer on-the-job training. This means you get trained while working your way towards a CNA certification. However, taking these on-the-job training programs usually mean you will be required to stay with your employer for a period of time to cover the costs.
If you would like to have flexible employment choices after getting your certificate, then you may opt to get your training reimbursed by Medicare instead. If you undergo CNA training through your potential employer, then you may be eligible to receive it for free. The US Federal government currently offers reimbursements to health industry employers for training expenses on certain occupations. The CNA role is one of those occupations. This is primarily because the Federal government requires all home health aides to pass a competency test. And to pass the test, potential home health aides first need proper training.
In states that require nursing assistants to be licensed, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice offers free CNA training (also called a voluntary certification).
Some high schools also offer free CNA training to students that are aiming for CNA certification. Although a high school diploma is not required in being a potential CNA, most CNA’s do.
Aides who work for nursing facilities are required by Federal law to complete at least 75 hours of state-approved training, as well as passing an evaluation of competency. Medicare funds these trainings and a certificate is awarded to successful trainees. The names of successful trainees will also be listed in the State Registry of nurse aides.