EMT-B to CNA

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    Hi everyone, this is my first post here. I was just wondering if anybody here has both a CNA and EMT-B certification. I'm an EMT-B and I'd like to become a CNA so I can work as an ER Tech. Would you say that I need to take an entire 3-month course to pass the CNA practical skills, or do you think I could just take one of those 3-4 day CNA review courses? Thanks.

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  2. 8 Comments...

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    Most E.D. will hire an E.M.T. without any CNA experience. As a matter of fact many of them prefer that over CNA especially if you have field experience...

    Swtooth
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    1st of all, most ERs want their techs to have more advanced skills than just CNA (IV starts, 12 lead EKG, foley insertions). 2nd of all, working in an ER and working in the field are completely different.

    It's just like when ER or ICU nurses want to volunteer to be paramedics and we are told that we have to go through the whole paramedic class even though our skill level is similar.

    Some ERs however have their own in-house training for techs. You may consider contacting the ERs in your area and asking what their particular requirements are. Good luck. I used to be a paramedic long ago and switching to the hospital environment was a little of a letdown when I realized I went from being the one in command and the main decisionmaker to the low gal on the totem pole. Techs are low-paying jobs with little recognition unless you bust your arse every second of your shift. Remember that.
    Last edit by bluesky on Nov 21, '06
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    As swtooth said check out your local ERs and what their requirements are for ER Techs. All of our local hospitals list CNA or EMT, or CMA, or ERT as qualifications.

    I would also assume that for these positions they give you a lot of training regarding skills. Honestly most of the CNA course is just common sense and really isn't hospital oriented at all.
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    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I've been in contact with my local ER and several others here in the state of NC, and all of them so far have required a CNA certification. EMT-B doesnt count, they said. I thought this was kind of silly, but as least one of them admitted the administration was talking about letting EMT-B's be techs.

    I prefer the ER to the field, and also, my long term goals include working in the ER a little higher up on the totem pole. When I did my clinicals for the EMT class, I liked the ER clinicals much better than working in the field.

    So I guess that brings me back to my original question which was; do you think I should take the entire 3 month course, or will a review class work? I've taken a practice Written Exam, and I think I can pass that with flying colors. It's the Practicals that have me more worried.
  7. 0
    Quote from MedicalMitch
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I've been in contact with my local ER and several others here in the state of NC, and all of them so far have required a CNA certification. EMT-B doesnt count, they said. I thought this was kind of silly, but as least one of them admitted the administration was talking about letting EMT-B's be techs.

    I prefer the ER to the field, and also, my long term goals include working in the ER a little higher up on the totem pole. When I did my clinicals for the EMT class, I liked the ER clinicals much better than working in the field.

    So I guess that brings me back to my original question which was; do you think I should take the entire 3 month course, or will a review class work? I've taken a practice Written Exam, and I think I can pass that with flying colors. It's the Practicals that have me more worried.
    What are the practicals for CNA? Do you have any friends who've taken it and can help you practice the practicals? How long have you been in the field? Do you have any nurse pals that can work some connections and get you into their EDs?

    You know, you could always give the fast route a shot and if it doesn't work, fall back on the class. Life is an adventure, or it is nothing, right?
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    Hey, in answer to your question, i think you should take the whole CNA course. I work in a state where hospitals can not require techs to be certified in anything. Therefore, all ER techs get to do is wipe butts and transport patients - even if you're certified in ACLS.

    After 7 years in EMS, i became a nurse aide. It's not the same. The only thing you know how to do now is take vitals. In the CNA course, you'll learn how to transfer patients (properly), how to assist with mobility, diaper changing, pressure ulcer prevention, how to make up a room, etc. No, the skills aren't "higher level", they're just different. Yes, learning to take vitals again will insult your intelligence and experience - but in my opinion, it would be worth it.
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    I would encourage you to take a full CNA course. Along with the reasons listed in lisanursingstudent's post, I can't emphasize enough the differences in scope of practice and the thought processes between EMT and CNA. I took my CNA course at a local nursing home, it was 3 weeks long (1 week classroom, 2 weeks clinical). You might even look into taking the class at a nursing home, some have very minimal requirements for PRN staff, like 1 shift every 3 months.

    As you take your CNA class, you may be reminded that you are there to be a CNA, not an EMT. However, your EMT skills will be invaluable no matter where you work as a CNA. You will pick up on subtle patient changes and be able to bring it to a nurse's attention - as observations. If you work in an ER, you may be able to do additional skills beyond the traditional CNA's scope of practice, so this may not be an issue for you at all.

    And on the flip side, my CNA skills have occasionally come in handy on the ambulance. I've changed a few depends before transporting ill patients to the hospital, and some of the transfer techniques I use as a CNA have come in handy too.

    Good luck to you!
  10. 0
    Thanks for the replies. The reason I would like to "clep" out of the class is because the only thing I would like to use my CNA cert. for is to work as an ER Tech, which seems to be the main qualification here in my area of NC. I plan to use both my EMT and CNA as ways to work in the healthcare setting (hospital) while finishing my undergrad. This isn't to say that I am simply doing it for money, because it's not. I am extremely interested in healthcare and the time I spend working in it during my undergrad will be a tremendous experience, I am sure. However, it's still unlikely that I will ever work in a Long Term Care facility and other places that CNA's usually work.

    Like others have mentioned, pretty much everwhere else EMT-B is enough to qualify a person to work as a ER Tech, but around here CNA seems to be the name of the game. At this point I think I'm just going to watch the video series posted in the Sticky section, read through a few CNA textbooks, and practice the practicals on my own and then attempt to take the state test. If I don't pass, I can always take the class. They don't offer them around here anyways until after the first of the year. That means I have a little over a month to try to do it on my own.


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