Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are professionals who assist patients or residents with personal care and everyday needs such as bathing, feeding, dressing, changing beds, transporting them from one place to another, as well as a variety of other essential activities of life. They may also be responsible for communication, medical assistance and treatment.
Those who work as CNAs receive training and then must be tested in order to receive their certification. Once that takes place they then will perform their job responsibilities under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
These professionals are also sometimes referred to as certified nurse’s aides. They work in the capacity of caregivers and have direct contact with their patients all of the time. An individual who wishes to work as a CNA can find employment in hospitals, hospices and nursing homes. There are regulations that govern this occupation that can mainly be found at the level of the state. These regulations include requirements for the curriculum and criminal background checks.
After receiving CNA certification there are 18 states that do not require that these workers pursue continuing education. These state include Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington state and Wisconsin.
On the other hand the other 32 states do have minimum requirements for those who train to work as certified nursing assistants. This does vary from state to state however. For example, in Florida 12 hours of continuing education units (CEUs) must be completed on an annual basis. In the state of Nevada within a licensing period 24 hours of continuing training is required. If you reside in one of the 32 states not listed as opposed to one of the 18 states listed then you should check with your state’s nursing board to find out what is required of you.
Every state has different requirements for its CNA curriculum. That is why finding out what your state deems as necessary for your continuous training needs is so important. Online continuing education courses for nursing assistants can be found but in most states taking online courses does not count as valid courses credits for your profession.
There are cases however where some of the topics you need to learn about may be subjects you can learn through the Internet and they can be taken at your leisure and according to your schedule. Find out what online continuing education courses for nursing assistants are allowed before you sign up for any courses with nursing schools.
Some of the topics you will study about through continuing education include assisting patients with motion exercises, emergency health care and reporting the medical status of a patient. Other topics you may tackle include bio-terrorism, blood-borne pathogens, domestic violence, communicating with cognitively impaired patients, diabetes, HIV and the legal aspects of being a certified nursing assistant. At some point in a continuing education program hands-on clinical training will need to be undertaken. The CNA will need to become familiar with and apply knowledge he or she has learned in a workplace setting. All of the lessons and training done through this clinical phase of CE must be supervised by a registered nurse (RN).