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Nurse's Aide Class Summaries

A nurse's aide provides direct patient care under the supervision of doctors or nurses. Courses for aspiring nurse's aides are generally taken as part of a full certificate program.

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Essential Information

Nurse's aide classes are typically available through certificate programs for nurse's aides or home aides. Programs usually consist of one class that covers all skills required for nurse's aides. After completing the course, students are eligible to take the certification exam for their state. There's normally a clinical component that is completed after classroom instruction and laboratory experience. Many programs can be completed in less than one month of full-time attendance.

After getting certified as a nurse's aide, students may enroll in an advanced course that prepares them for hospital-based positions in areas that may include surgery technology or EKG technology. Certified nurse's aides also usually have to take a refresher course to maintain their certification, and these courses are offered at many community colleges and technical schools.

Here is a list of commonly explored concepts in nurse's aide courses:

  • Activities of daily living
  • Patient assistance
  • Vital signs
  • Examination for injuries
  • Treatment plans

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Overview of Nurse's Aide Classes

Introductory Nurse's Aide Class Description

Students in introductory nurse's aide classes learn to serve meals, make beds and tidy rooms for patients; in addition, they learn to feed, bathe and clothe patients who can no longer perform these tasks themselves. Introductory nurse's aide classes also teach students how to take basic vital signs, such as temperature and blood pressure. Aspiring nurse's aides also gain strong communication and interpersonal skills they can use when interacting with patients. Prior to working in the field, graduates must take a certification exam to become certified nurse assistants (CNAs).

Long-Term Care Course

Students build upon their skills in this class that prepares nurse's aides to provide long-term care to individuals, unable to care for themselves, at homes, in nursing homes or in other healthcare facilities. Candidates practice providing basic nursing care safely and learn to respect cultural differences and preferences with regard to boundaries and touch, among other things. The legal and ethical responsibilities of providing long-term care as a nurse's aide are also discussed, as are specific ways to provide emotional support to patients dealing with illness.

Refresher Course

Most healthcare professionals need to take refresher courses every two years to stay current with technology and other skills, and nurse's aides are no exception. Through nurse's aide classes like this, students participate in labs and lectures to re-familiarize themselves with their responsibilities in the healthcare system. Safety measures, infection control, patient rights, vital sign monitoring, patient positioning and personal care are all covered in this course. Most nurse's aides take refresher courses to renew their certifications if required or to re-instate expired or lapsed certifications.

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