According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the nursing assistant profession is one of the fastest growing health fields and will continue to be one of the most stable and secure employment options in the state of Massachusetts.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) plays instrumental role in the care and treatment of patients and operates under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or physician.
Nursing assistants are employed in many different facilities including hospitals, hospice centers, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. The duties and their main responsibility are to assist the patients in their daily activities that include toileting, bathing, feeding, dressing, transfer of patients, taking vital signs, such as record blood pressure, temperature, pulse, respiration, weight and height, keeping rooms clean, contribute to proper operating and maintaining of medical equipment, and observing and noting changes in a patient’s condition or behavior.
Individuals interested in becoming a CNA in Massachusetts have to:
- complete a state approved CNA training program
- applying for certification test
- and pass the competency exam.
All approved CNA training programs in Massachusetts meet the federal requirements and offered through vocational schools, community colleges, the American Red Cross and some long-term care facilities. For most flexibility there is a possibility enrollment in an online school. Some of the long-term care facilities will also offer free CNA training in exchange for working at the facility.
Once the candidate complete the requirements is listed on the Massachusetts Nurse Aide Registry and is eligible to work as a CNA in state.
CNA Training in Massachusetts (MA)
Some programs require that the applicants be at least 18 years of age,and hold a high school diploma or GED certification. Also, should have clean criminal record and a medically documented negative TB status of the last 6 months. Additional, need to have the ability to read and write in English.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health approves CNA programs in Massachusetts related to direct patient care. Typical CNA programs in Massachusetts last about 6-12 weeks and the fee ranges from $800 to $2000.
A student is required to attend 100 hours of training. Out of 100 hours, 75 hours should be dedicated to classroom coursework, covered medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, ethics, patient rights and basic nursing skills (cover concepts such as sepsis, sterilization and many other nursing related subjects).
For 25 hours should work under supervised practical training (clinical practice), which usually takes place in a nursing home or hospital and provides hands-on experience learning how to properly treat patients. In this segment, a student learns how to take care of the patient, assisting in daily activities, such as brushing teeth, personal grooming, eating, toileting and bathing. Also, learns how to provide basic first aid, respond to health emergencies, taking vital signs, keeping the patient’s bed clean and dry, observing the response of the patients towards the treatment, interpersonal skills and communicating with patients.
Massachusetts CNA Certification
The candidate should pass the competency exam, known as the Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation (NACE), within 24 months of completing the CNA training program. This exam is administered by the American Red Cross and the cost is about $93.
Includes two sections: a written exam of 60 multiple-choice questions lasting 2 hours, and a clinical exercise lasting 20 minutes, which assess the practical nursing skills. In the latter the examinees are asked to perform five selected tasks appropriate to a CNA job and to prove they know the clinical techniques they were trained during the training program.
The examinees must pass both parts of exam to certify, and they will need re-take training course if fail three times in competency exam.
After successful completion of certification, candidates are listed on the Massachusetts Nurse Aide Registry that maintains records of all those who work as CNA in state. Re-certification in Massachusetts is every two years and CNAs should prove they have been employed for at least 8 hours and have completed 24 hours of continuous education during the same period.
CNA Jobs & Salary in Massachusetts
The CNA position is a good step for someone to start a career in healthcare field, as the demand has increased – with the growing population of people who need personal care – making this profession an excellent long term career opportunity.
They work in nursing homes, hospitals and other health care facilities across the state, including the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Marlborough Hospital and Winchester Hospital, and average salaries for CNAs, range from around $18,000 to $32,000 a year.