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Becoming a CNA   arrow

What is a CNA?

CNA stands for Certified Nurses Assistant. A CNA is professionally trained to provide general nursing care and support to patients and residents, such as help with hygiene, feeding, and other basic care needs. This is a great career field for people who desire to pursue a nursing career or for those who simply like to help other people.

Should I become a CNA?

Becoming a CNA takes hard work and dedication. It will require several weeks of intense training and studying. In order to be a successful CNA it is important that you like to help other people.

Do I need to become a CNA to study to be an RN or an LPN?

If your ultimate goal is to become an RN or an LPN, it may be necessary for you to first obtain the CNA credential. This depends on the requirements of the nursing program you are interested in. Even if it’s not required, working as a CNA prior to becoming a nurse can help you better understand and experience the demands and responsibilities of the nursing field.

CNA Training

You can become a Michigan CNA in a matter of weeks. Training includes book work, as well as hands on clinicals and lab time. CNAs are tested on their book knowledge as well as various skills they have learned during their lab times in order to earn their certifications.

CNA Coursework

CNA course work includes learning many different aspects of care for people of all ages. When you study to become a Michigan CNA you will learn the proper way to assist someone in eating, toileting, walking, and transferring from a bed to a chair and other positions. You will also learn the art of bed making and how to assist someone in dressing and oral care.

CNA Labs

During lab time you will put your newly learned skills to the test. In labs you will practice proper bed making, providing oral care, and even transferring patients from a bed to a chair, or vice versa. You will also practice using a gait belt to assist patients in walking.

CNA Clinical Hours

Clinical time is usually held at local area nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and even hospitals. During clinical time you will pair with RNs, LPNs and CNAs who are already working in the field, in order to observe and provide care to real patients and residents. Studies show the more clinical time CNAs get during their formal training, the better prepared they are for employment as a CNA. A certain number of clinical hours are required by the state of Michigan in order to sit for the CNA exam.

CNA Exam

In order to work as a CNA, you must be certified. In order to become certified you must take an accredited course and pass a hands-on and written portion of the CNA Michigan test. Once you are certified it’s necessary to keep your certification up to date by following Michigan standards.

Place of Employment

CNAs can work in a variety of settings. They can work as home health aides, assisting seniors and people with disabilities in their own homes with everyday tasks such as bathing, house cleaning and grocery shopping. CNAs can also work in hospitals, assisting nursing staff in providing for the basic needs of patients. They can also work in nursing homes or assisted living facilities to help provide care for residents and assisted other nursing staff with various tasks.

The CNA Role

It’s very important for CNAs to understand their important role. They are hired to assist RNs and LPNs, not to do their job. CNAs who overstep their boundaries and perform tasks that only RNs or LPNs are licensed to do can face punishments up to and including the loss of their license and even jail time, depending on the situation. CNAs should also be careful to practice within the scope of their training and certification.

Job Outlook for CNAs

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CNA job field is expected to expand 20 percent faster than average through 2020. The aging baby boomer generation will put this job field in even higher demand for many years past 2020.

Salary of a CNA

CNA salaries can vary vastly. Salaries can differ depending on the area of the country, the type of place they are employed and the number of years experience they have in the field. In May of 2010, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median pay for a CNA was nearly $12 per hour. Many places of employment also add a shift differential, holiday pay and vacation time.

Job Satisfaction

Working as a CNA can be physically and emotionally demanding. However, it can also be very rewarding. If you enjoy helping other people, even people in difficult physical and health circumstances, a career as a CNA might be for you.