Certified Nursing Assistants, also known as CNAs, are a valuable position at healthcare facilities like hospitals and nursing homes. They work closely to licensed practical nurses and registered nurses. Although they work closely together, CNAs have different functions such as bathing and dressing patients and assisting nurses and other medical staff. Working as a CNA can be very rewarding. Not only will you assist medical staff with important tasks, but you will also care for people when they are most vulnerable. If this position sounds interesting. you may want to look into your available CNA training near you. If you are unable to find training locally, you may want to explore the available CNA training online.
CNA Training Online, A Flexible Alternative
CNA training online is more accessible than ever. As with nearly any educational path or training these days, online training is another alternative to local, in-person training. This is especially beneficial for those who cannot commit to a full-time or a day-time program due to other obligations such as family, or another job. Although there is flexibility with online programs, it is also important to remember that in-person clinical experience is needed. CNA certification requires at least 75 hours of clinical training that needs to be approved by the state.
Classes for CNA Training Online
CNAs do not require a bachelor’s degree to obtain a certification. Students only need a high school diploma or GED. Most classes will center around topics about anatomy and physiology, nutrition, infection control, patient care, ethics, patient relations, and communications. Both online courses and in-person courses will likely cover the same material, but there are some factors to consider.
The Importance of Participation
Unlike in-person courses, online classes likely lack required class participation. Although this may be a relief for some, choosing not to participate in discussions or during lectures is really only detrimental to the person who is supposed to be learning. Reminders to stay engaged while online and help enhance an online experience to make it more comparable to an in-person classroom.
Most in-person CNA training will likely have more structured schedules with very specific class times, and more stringent deadlines. Online CNA training will likely be more relaxed, with more flexible deadlines, and opportunities to view lectures at different times. While this is beneficial for anyone who is busy, it is important to budget personal time to ensure that work does not pile up and become overwhelming.
Experiences are Key
In-person CNA programs will likely require in-person clinical experiences, as they are more hands on. Do not wait to get these experiences while you are pursuing your CNA certification online. It’s important that your experiences are fresh and your skills are sharp. If you don’t feel like the mandatory clinical experiences are enough, make a commitment to volunteer in a CNA setting such as a hospital to ensure your skills stay sharp.
The following is a brief list of places that offer CNA training online for you to consider:
- Howard Community College is located in Columbia, Maryland. They offer an online hybrid program that allows for students to take all their classes online, but meet once a week for a clinical skills lab.
- College of Western Idaho is located in Nampa, Idaho, and offers a hybrid CNA program. They offer 12 weeks of online lessons, combined with 12 sessions of onsite skills training, and 32 hours of clinical experience.
Many community colleges across the country often offer CNA classes which may be offered online. Research what may be offered at your local college. It is important to ensure you research a CNA program that is accredited, and has the right curriculum to prepare you for your CNA certification.