Pennsylvania CNA Training

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A Pennsylvania certified nursing assistant helps nurses with patient needs.
A Pennsylvania certified nursing assistant helps nurses with patient needs.

A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, assists nurses and medical staff with many different areas of patient care. CNAs' duties vary depending on the type of hospital or clinic they are working in. Many tasks relate to routine patient care, such as helping a patient eat, cleaning the patient and providing medication. A job as a CNA can be physical and emotionally draining, but it can be rewarding as well. CNAs often work with elderly and disabled patients in long-term care facilities. Pennsylvania has specific licensing requirements for CNAs, set by the State Board of Nursing.

  1. Finding CNA Training

    • The first step to becoming a CNA is graduating from high school or obtaining a GED. Career centers, vocational schools, community colleges and some universities offer CNA training programs in Pennsylvania. The training program is required to be accredited by the state so prospective CNAs can take the state-mandated exam to become licensed. Nurses at clinics and hospitals might be able to recommend a good CNA program for your area.

      Additional requirements vary from location to location, but it is common for CNA training programs in Pennsylvania to require a physical as well as a tuberculosis test. Background checks can also be a requirement.

    Classroom Training

    • CNA programs are usually more than 100 credit hours long and are split into classroom and hands-on training. The classroom training part of the course educates students about basic human biology, patient care, hygiene, infection control, resident rights and other skills that are essential to helping nurses take care of patients.

    Practical Training

    • Hands-on training teaches students the practical skills needed in nursing. Transferring patients unable to move themselves, cleaning patients and tending to wounds are among the skills a student gains in a CNA program. Some training courses have clinics right on the grounds, while others have agreements with local healthcare providers.

    Licensing

    • The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing details the eligibility and application requirements for the CNA exam. The prospective CNA can send in an application to Pearson VUE to schedule the CNA exam. Passing a Pennsylvania Board of Education CNA training course is essential to getting accepted for the examination.

    Exam

    • The American Red Cross administers the CNA exam. It consists of two parts: the written and the practical. The written test is 50 multiple-choice questions covering competency of the knowledge needed for being a nursing assistant. The practical part of the exam requires the student to perform five nursing aide skills. These skills are randomly selected to test the student's hands-on knowledge.

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  • Photo Credit nurse chris image by John Keith from Fotolia.com

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