Several CNA classes are required for licensure in this particular health field. Certified nursing assistants usually need to complete a one- or two-year certification program and pass a comprehensive licensure exam. These sets of courses are available at many vocational schools and community colleges. Subjects required for students normally include basic medical vocabulary, first aid, proper ergonomics on the job, and correct ways to take patient vital signs.
Terminology and Communication
Nursing assistants need to be familiar with certain terminology in order to communicate effectively with physicians and other hospital staff. These included courses also cover the correct methods for communication with patients about their specific medical conditions. Other related subject matter concerns ethical and legal parameters for on-the-job communication, such as patient confidentiality and the right to refuse treatment under certain conditions. In order to get your certification, you will need to be a good communicator.
First Aid and Disease Prevention
One of the most important courses for a student covers proper hygiene and sanitation procedures in a medical facility. Topics covered include how to keep basic equipment such as stethoscopes free of infectious matter. Students also learn the correct disposal of instruments such as syringe needles in a sealed sharps container. Instructors often stress the importance of keeping any bio-hazardous matter contained for disposal in secure labeled containers. These courses finally cover the most common communicable diseases found in medical facilities and how to prevent them from spreading. A competent CNA also needs to be familiar with basic first aid procedures, including injury stabilization and CPR.
Ergonomics for an Easier Life
Part of training involves the correct way to move and turn bed-ridden patients safely. Using the right ergonomic procedures will prevent injuries to the patient or to the nursing assistant. Related subject matter covers correct use of common patient equipment, such as adjustable hospital beds and wheelchairs.
Taking Patient Vital Signs
A nursing assistant does not perform more comprehensive procedures such as phlebotomy or medication prescription, but he or she does need to know how to record patient vital signs. This information includes heart rate, blood pressures, and basic limb reflexes. Coursework in vital signs also covers how to record this information on standard patient charts.
Training is a popular choice for students with interests in the medical profession. Many begin their careers before completing additional certifications in the nursing field. Completing a set of courses leads to a rewarding career path for those with the dedication to learning.