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Certified Nursing Assistant Courses and Classes Overview

A certified nursing assistant (CNA), also known as a nurse aide, takes care of patients' basic needs, including bathing and feeding, and provides support to other medical professionals. These courses are usually taken through a full training program. To find out more about what CNA classes typically entail, read on.

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Essential Information

Certified nursing assistant courses are typically offered through short-term, state-approved programs that may lead to a certificate. These programs are frequently found at community colleges and technical schools. They may be completed in just a matter of weeks, and schools often offer flexible scheduling for classes. Applicants must meet specific medical requirements and be physically able to perform the job duties to enroll.

CNA courses include a combination of lectures and laboratory practice. After completing their courses, students in CNA programs do some supervised clinical work through an externship at a medical care facility. Graduates have to pass their state competency exam to get the title of CNA.

Here is a list of concepts commonly explored in certified nursing assistant courses:

  • Activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Vital Signs
  • Incident reporting
  • Patient rights
  • Long-term care

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List of Courses

Fundamentals of Nursing Course

Many certified nursing assistant (CNA) programs include courses that cover the fundamentals of nursing. Students are introduced to a variety of health-related topics, especially the role of the nursing assistant in the overall nursing process. They also begin to address the legal and ethical issues inherent at this level of patient care. Upon completion, students should understand the nursing process as it applies to certified nursing assistants.

Body Systems Course

This certified nursing assistant course familiarizes students with the basics of the human body and its functions, as well as the human body's response to certain medications. Groundwork is layed for students who are interested in continuing their educations by becoming licensed nurses or entering some other area of health care. Through anatomy and physiology courses, students become familiar with the entire body, helping them understand the necessity of certain medical procedures.

Patient Care Course

These courses can be divided up into physical, psycho-social and spiritual patient care. Students learn how to assist patients with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing and feeding. They also learn how to take vital signs, prevent injuries common to long-term care patients and collect specimens. This course also addresses issues surrounding cognitive impairment, abnormal behavior and emotional needs of patients. Finally, students learn about spiritual needs of patients in long-term care and how to assist patients in coping with loss.

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