The state of Connecticut accounts for 2% of overall employment of CNAs in the US. The growing elderly population makes Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) a popular career choice, with strong chances of employment and a stable income in the rapidly growing health care industry.
Anyone who wishes to become a CNA in Connecticut, must complete a state-approved training program and pass the competency exams. Connecticut has about 155 approved CNA training programs that meet federal regulations and supervised by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The state of Connecticut following federal laws stated under Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA-87) runs Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs (NATCEP) and maintains Nurse Aide Registry.
CNA training courses are offered by many high schools, vocational and technical schools, community colleges, adult education program centers, nursing homes, hospitals and rehabilitation centers, as well as in one of the chapters of the American Red Cross CNA programs. Additional there are facilities that offer classes at night or online to accommodate those with busy lifestyles.
Some of the responsibilities and tasks of a CNA, is to provide support for doctors and nurses in a health care setting. May perform different CNA skills such as taking patients’ vital signs, keeping health records noting changes in a patient’s condition or behavior, answer questions from family, infection control, administering medication, explain prevention methods, and the proper operating and maintaining of medical equipment. Also, she/he is involved with the patient’s daily needs depending on the directions of qualified professional, such as toileting, bathing and grooming, dressing, feeding, keeping rooms clean, preparing beddings, etc.
Requirements of CNA Training in Connecticut
Currently, in order to gain entry into any of the approved CNA programs in Connecticut, candidates must be at least 18 years of age; possess a high school diploma or GED certificate, be in good physical health, and have no criminal record. Also, they should be familiar with English language and mathematics, and have a TB test report of last 6 months and immunization’s proof before admission to the program.
According to the Connecticut State Department of Health, each of the approved CNA programs must be comprised with a minimum of 100 hours of training, which covers classroom instruction and clinical practice in a nursing home or a clinical setting.
Connecticut’s CNA training programs combine pharmacology, psychology, anatomy, human body mechanics, basic nutrition, information regarding communication skills with patients, resident rights, safety measures, emergency procedures, and infection control. These programs also include on-site clinical training, which requires students practice under the direct supervision of a licensed medical professional in a field of their choice. During the program the students should learn about 25 nursing aid skills, 5 of which would be tested during the certification examination.
As prescribed by federal law, the typical Connecticut CNA program lasts approximately 6 to 12 weeks and fee which is to be submitted for admission varies with the type of program. However, you can pay less than $500, while some demand a fee more than $1000.
Connecticut CNA Certification
All potential CNAs must sit for a certification exam within 24 months of completing the training. In the state of Connecticut, the certification exam is administered by Prometric, and consists of two sections. A two-hour written test with 60 multiple-choice questions written in English and a clinical competency exam. Clinical exam involves practical demonstration of 5 competency skills chosen randomly from a set of 25 professional nursing skills under the supervision of trained nurses. The examinees are evaluated on the basis of both these tests.
The written test covers the topics of classroom instruction like medical terminologies, basic science, physiology and anatomy, human body mechanics, basic nutrition, basic patient care and safety, health and population education, personal hygiene, patients’ rights, etc.
In practical test which mimics a clinical setting, the examinees perform clinical skills such as providing basic nursing care, clean environment, feeding and administering medication, bathing and grooming, bed making, obtaining vital signs, keeping health charts of the patients, develop the skills of interpersonal communication, etc.
If the examinee fails the tests after three tries will need to re-take the training program. The examination fee of written exam is $45 and of clinical test is $63. After successfully passing the certification exam, CNA can be entered into the Connecticut Nurse Aide Registry, it which keeps database of all certified nursing assistants practicing in the state. CNAs must renew their license every 2 years and the state requires at least 8 hours of paid work as a CNA during the same period, in order to remain active on the Nurse Aide Registry.
CNA Employment in Connecticut
The job outlook for CNAs in Connecticut is very promising as the state experiences an increase in elderly population which they need healthcare. Certified nursing assistants can work in some of the healthcare and medical settings such as nursing homes, clinics, hospitals, private health care centers, public health care facilities, mental care facilities, elderly care centers, convalescent homes and long-term care facilities and can anticipate an annual salary around $30,000, but the salary range vary depending on experience, job position, qualifications, place of employment and the type of employer.