The Challenges in Becoming a CNA

As one of the most simultaneously rewarding and demanding jobs ever, becoming a certified nursing assistant is never easy, but often a satisfying way to earn a living as you help patients in need improve the quality of their lives on a daily basis. With the current needs of the long-term patients in the world growing exponentially as more people than ever reach an infirm age where they need extra assistance with daily domestic life, it is a great time to become a CNA. After taking a 6 to 12 week CNA training course, and passing the exam to earn certification, you’ll be able to find out for yourself how challenging being a certified nursing assistant can really be!

During the CNA training course, the difficulty level is rather basic for those used to a traditional classroom setting (which should be everyone in the course as a requirement for all CNAs is a high school diploma). The general subjects of study include anatomy and physiology, biology, infection control, nutrition, and other various subjects to master on the road towards becoming certified. While none of the subjects are particularly difficult (unless you don’t study them, that is) they also aren’t representative of what hands-on experience in a clinical setting would be like, and is precisely the reason why all CNA training courses require a set number of hours of actual clinical experience before the trainees can be certified.

If you are worried about how difficult the hands-on clinical experience is, you should attempt to pay more attention to the lessons being taught instead. The fact is that hands-on experience is simply an ‘appetizer’ of sorts for the actual challenges that will be faced during your role as a certified CNA. Not only is the clinical experience an abbreviated sample of certified CNA work, but it is very short in comparison to the classroom training.

Those trainees that do especially well in their CNA training programs will have flawless attendance, especially due to the fact that missing 6 hours of course time is grounds for elimination from the program. As the length of time for most CNA programs are around 3 months, it is hardly a stretch to be punctual and have great time management habits for the duration of the training, especially when the goal of becoming a certified CNA is certainly worth the effort.

In terms of the final exam to gain one’s CNA certification, there are actually two sets of exams that trainees are required to successfully pass for their certification. The skills test is the initial test that needs to be passed, and will quiz trainees on all the practices and regulatory actions they should have mastered during the training class. Next is the written test, with will be a more open ended exam to probe how trainees would respond given certain patient care situations, and how they would document patient conditions while on the job as a CNA. If you can manage to earn an 80% score or higher on the exam, certification awaits, and although many find that figure too unreasonable, ease of the subject matter (especially when compared to the require knowledge of doctors and registered nurses that work alongside CNAs) and the fact that one needs only to put forth effort into studying the material to be assured of an 80% should weed out those who are serious about becoming a certified nursing assistant, and those who aren’t.

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