CNA training programs

  1. I am wondering if I am expecting too much from my CNA training program. We average about 3.5 hours classroom instruction (much of it read to us from our book) and then go to lunch (our instructor departs for the rest of the day). Upon return, we watch a 20- to 30-minute video (so far one from Johnson & Johnson on nurses as unsung heroes, and a patient orientation on how to use their catheter bag at home. We then watch a Hollywood movie and go home a two to three hours early.
    I think I will learn what it takes to pass the state exam, but I am wondering why they make the classes so long if they don't really need all the time.
    •  
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   jb2u
    Most states mandate a certain number of class and a certain number of clinical hours that MUST be attended in order for a student to receive eligibility to sit for the CNA exam.
  4. by   RNfaster
    JB2U, thanks for your reply... I do realize they are mandated by the state. I am frustrated and was trying to soften my critical tone. ...are other CNA programs like that --getting out early, watching Hollywood movies? If they are, I guess I should lighten up. I guess I should lighten up anyway. As mentioned, I expect to be able to pass the exam. I just wonder if other schools are providing more instruction. Hard to compare these things.
  5. by   jb2u
    My training was more intense. No hollywood movies or leaving early. Out of 16 students only 3 graduated, that was about average for this place. I would hope that all programs take it seriously. The job of the CNA is an extremely important one.
  6. by   DesertRain
    I'm kinda confused about why you would be finishing so early? I know each state has their regulations and what not, but like as was stated earlier, the job of the CNA is really important. My classes almost always go over and that's just talking about material covered in class, I think that the hours set are for a specific reason. Sure people might pass the certification examinations because as many have quoted it's "common sense" but to me there is just so much background as to why it's common sense and so much that should be learned as far as critical thinking goes. I mean you should have a pretty thorough mental knowledge on the processes and not just know how to do catheter care, or make a bed. If you paid for the program I would honestly say something, unless you are cool with it that way of course. I think the time mandated is pretty mandatory for the amount of information a CNA really should know. Imagine never have learned the arabic alphabet then having to go to college in Saudi Arabia where they didn't speak english. What would you do? You know how to open a book, use a pen, you've seen it done several times, but do you know the material? You know what I mean. Honestly, my two concerns with your situation is the tuition you might have paid and the fact that CNA's deal with actual lives. Are you willing to accept the responsibility of harming someone because you weren't fully educated in a particular situation. You know what I mean. That's just my . Either way, good luck and congratulations for making a decision to become a CNA.
  7. by   spydercadet
    Hi,

    As far as mandatory time for CNA education you need to look to OBRA, the US standard is 75 hours of classroom/lab time and 16 hours of clinical. A state may mandate more time but not less. As a program instructor I feel very strong about my students being able to master the basic tasks. However, I believe my responsibility lies in making sure that each student that passes through my course learn to appreciate the actual scope of their effect on peoples lives. Much of what you will learn will be "on the job", and that is unfortunate, but to be able to get the experience you really need you would have to be in the clinical situation a whole lot longer.

    My best advice to you is the same I give my students; Ask lots and lots of questions once you are out on your own!!! I am still asking questions of my coworkers, none of us can ever "know everything" so don't be intimidated and ask.
    Also, a person who helps others will also be the person that other people help.

    Good Luck - My best bet, if you are this worried now, you will make the BEST CNA caring for clients. It shows you care and therefore you will be careful.
  8. by   RNfaster
    Well, we saw another movie today - Philadelphia - and we got out several hours early. (Also this week - saw Dying Young, and A Beautiful Mind.) I was so angry it was hard to contain myself.

    Our instructor works as an LPN in a long-term care facility. She looks about late 50s or early 60s. I notice that she doesn't seem to have a grasp of microbiology or physiology (she is solid in anatomy). I imagine when she first was educated, some of the critical healthcare issues in microbiology today weren't even a blip on the radar, etc. She does have some good anecdotal info, but I get angry at the areas that are lacking. It also drives me nuts that she reads to us from the book.

    I feel as though the prerequisite classes that I have taken for nursing school will help me be a better CNA.

    One of the students said something to the school secretary about the movies this afternoon. I also said something to the instructor, but she indicated the movies weren't in her area of responsibility. I imagine the secretary will speak to the owner.

    The clinicals will be held in another facility - an actual long-term care facility. As Spydercadet mentioned, I think the clinicals will be the most important thing.

    Is it worth it to fight about this with the school (if they show movies do you really think they'd care what I say?) and/or to report this to some governing body?

    One of my classmates says she feels ripped off, but she thinks she should have researched the school more carefully.
    By the way, before attending, I called the state nursing board about the school and learned they have excellent pass rates.
    I think the school's lazy approach in the classroom supports negligent behavior, e.g., transmission of nosocomial infections and other things that with a bit more explanation could be prevented. I am aware of this because of my other classes...the other students haven't and aren't planning on taking nursing prerequisites, etc. --I know I can't expect the school to give the level of instruction that I am receiving in my prerequisite classes, but at least a little more data. I sure do hope the facilities that end up with folks from this school train them well.

    I am sorry about ranting a bit. I have so many mixed emotions on this, and I am also worried about what precisely to do.
  9. by   ann945n
    My CNA program too was kind of a joke. We had little class time and even less clinical time, state regulations, whats that? I bought some books with practice questions in them and read my whole CNA book. Honestly I could have passed the state test without any of that. It was really basic stuff unfortunatly.
  10. by   spydercadet
    hi, again,

    you definitely need to report this. no program should be based on movies as the main, if not only, way of presenting educational material on caring for others. i have shown "hollywood" movies in my class, but it has to do with alzheimers disease; such as 'the notebook' or 'iris.' i will use them as a way for students to see the effect the disease can have on loved ones, but not as the only teaching method.

    i strongly believe that if you don't report this program not only will your own education suffer but the long term impact on cna's from your state will be effected. i would start by going up the chain of command at the school itself. i often find the head of a program rarely knows what is going on in the classroom and notifying that person may be a good first start. i do not know the circumstances you are in and doing this may not be feasible. therefore, if you are not comfortable with that, you look into the state agency that oversees cna educational programs. generally you can report the program anonymously and hopefully protect yourself from any kind of retribution. if you can't do it anonymously you may want to look into your state's nurse practice act, but i do believe that you must do something. anything that is seemingly so inadequate, especially when it concerns the education of those who will be in the position of caring for our most frail and vulnerable citizens, must be reported.

    good luck to you, i do hope everything goes well for you. your concern for your own education and that of others, along with the impact on the care others will receive because of poor program education shows your true nature and concern for others. i hope you achieve all your goals in the nursing field. = )
  11. by   missi30
    I'm from NYC and my program is also a joke. The classes are supposed to be from 6-9pm and we really do not get started until 7pm. One instructor allows one student to read from our book and if there is time left she goes over what the student has read. Like someone on this thread, I also purchased an exam book and began to study on my own. I have also taken some practice exams and are doing quite well on them. My biggest concern is doing well on the practical part of the state board exam.
  12. by   RNfaster
    Wow. It is good to hear from people. I have to say that I am really glad to have already taken the nursing prerequisites as they fill in a lot of the gaps (and more) that I feel they should be covering in the classes. I am going to have to study hard on the clinical procedures. I feel very confident of the classroom material. I am disappointed in the lack of academic focus. I do agree with folks that have suggested that this is not good overall for CNAs in the local population, nor is it good for the folks that will be under their care. I will discuss further action with my classmates. Thank you all for your input.
  13. by   myres07
    Quote from sonoran
    I am wondering if I am expecting too much from my CNA training program. We average about 3.5 hours classroom instruction (much of it read to us from our book) and then go to lunch (our instructor departs for the rest of the day). Upon return, we watch a 20- to 30-minute video (so far one from Johnson & Johnson on nurses as unsung heroes, and a patient orientation on how to use their catheter bag at home. We then watch a Hollywood movie and go home a two to three hours early.
    I think I will learn what it takes to pass the state exam, but I am wondering why they make the classes so long if they don't really need all the time.
    Hi! I am currently attending a Nursing Aide Program here in CT. We have 3 classes a week.Two 31/2 hrs and one 7hrs during Sat. Our instructors sometimes let us go home like 1/2 an hour early. I don't know how does your Instructor teaches you but I think you should be taught about the program and not about Hollywood movies. You paid for that and you're supposed to get the right Lessons or whatever that you need to know in order to pass the State Exam and most of all in order to be a dependable CNA.
  14. by   katchup
    Hi everyone,
    I live in memphis Tn i am looking for a good CNA program.Concord has a program i think is too expensive(4,000). please help me find a school.

close