I am starting a CNA program in a few weeks, and am curious what all will be taking place. How much time is classroom learning as opposed to clinicals? Are clinicals only done at nursing homes or are you able to do them at hospitals as well? How difficult is the state CNS exam? Any information that could help me prepare would be greatly appreciated!!
I think clinicals are almost always done at a LTC facility. Thats where I did mine. I think its also where you learn the most about doing the actual job.
Some people are saying you should just jump right in, but in my experience we didnt have much of a choice. At the start of our first clinical, our instructor gave each of us a report on the resident we would be taking care of, then had us wait outside the room until she could come in and introduce us and then watch us start our AM cares. After that we were basically on our own, although the CNAs that worked there kept an eye on us and occasionally offered help, as they were ultimately responsible for that resident. The next day it was 2 residents, and then I think we finally had 3 people for our final day. Then we had a couple evening clinicals where we had to do HS cares, including one on an alzheimers unit.
Clinicals were a real eye opener, our poor instructor was running from room to room because this student or that student was having problems, or falling behind, or had a question on how to do something. My previous experience with CNAs had been as an EMT going on calls to nursing homes, and we didnt really have a particularly high opinion of them. I can tell you my opinion of them changed completely in one clinical, and I then was in awe of how fast and efficient and cool the CNAs who worked there were. To this day I still have more respect for CNAs than I do EMTs, even though I still work shifts as an EMT.
I forgot to mention I thought the state written exam was super easy, mostly just common sense. I could have probably passed it even without taking the class.
The practical exam was a lot harder though. It might vary by site, but the one I took it at regularly failed a lot of people, so pay close attention when they go over the skill sheets and practice them.
Last edit by funtimes on Nov 26, '12
: Reason: more info