CNA training comprises both classroom work and hands-on clinical training. Specific CNA  requirements  vary by state, but most CNA training programs require about 75 hours of classroom training and about 16 hours of supervised clinical training in a health facility.  These are taught in high schools, community colleges, vocational and technical schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.

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Specific CNA courses vary according to the specific state and specific program. On a very broad level CNA training courses cover patient care, medical procedures and equipment, communication and physiology.

CNA training classes may include some of the following:

  • intro to health care
  • human anatomy
  • human physiology
  • nursing skills
  • medical terminology
  • safety and nutrition
  • CPR
  • infection control
  • communication skills
  • patient privacy and rights
  • personal care skills (bathing, eating and grooming)

The clinical CNA training portion is a requirement. Typically you will follow a registered nurse as you are required to be supervised during this training. Here you will learn the practical hands-on aspects of  patient care , patient communication and health-team  interaction.  Some tasks you may perform include:

  • patient transport and assistance
  • feeding of patients
  • helping patients with personal hygiene
  • dealing with bodily fluids
  • bathing patients

During this practical training  you will begin to get an appreciation and understanding of how health-care teams interact and how a health facility operates.

When they finish their required state education, nursing assistants can take a competency exam to become an actual CNA.  See the CNA certification page for more details on that process.  

Information on this page summarized from:       
(1)  Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,  Nursing Assistants and Orderlies,
(2) Wikipedia contributors, "Unlicensed assistive personnel," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
Image credit: Image of CNA licensed from Fotolia, LLC.

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