Certified nurse aide (CNA) certificate programs are offered at many community and technical colleges, as well as at medical centers or training institutes. Students learn to assist patients with daily living duties, such as feeding, bathing and grooming, as well as perform basic medical procedures, like take vital signs and dress IVs. Students also participate in a clinical experience. This experience includes a mandatory number of both classroom and clinical training hours. Most states require a high school diploma or equivalent and a criminal background check in order to receive certification. Here are some of the topics you can expect to study if you decide to pursue a CNA program:
- Assistance with meals
- Taking vitals
- Recording concerns
- Changing linens
- Wheelchair transportation
- Safety awareness
- Disease and infection control
List of Courses
Basic Nursing Care
Students learn to properly bathe, groom, dress and feed patients. This involves a study of proper skin care and infection control. Students also learn how to dress and undress IVs, take vital signs and recognize common health problems.
Basic Medical Skills
Nurse aides must be familiar with the medical setting in which they'll work. This area covers basic medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, mental disorders and body mechanics. Students also become familiar with medical assistive devices.
Many CNAs work in nursing or hospice care, which means that they must understand the particular needs of elderly patients. This course explores basic elderly care, as well as dealing with death and dying. Students also explore the unique aspects of working with Alzheimer's and dementia patients.
Patient Care Issues
Legal and ethical concerns that affect both patients and their care providers are covered in this course, including patients' rights. Students learn safety and emergency procedures necessary to create a safe health care environment. They further learn basic communication and interpersonal skills, since nurse aides must be able to speak effectively with patients, families and other care providers.