One can work in a nursing facility as a nursing assistant by acquiring nursing assistant certifications. These certifications are a requirement to anyone who is thinking of entering the medical field as a nursing assistant. It is a state and federal requirement to anyone who would like to work legally in any state in the US. The certification serves as the standard with which one’s competencies and skills are measured as well as a way of ensuring the full capabilities of a person in delivering the appropriate healthcare that is needed.
As a rule, no one can be allowed to work as nursing assistant without a certification although there are a few exceptions where one who is currently enrolled in a nursing assistant program can be allowed to work for a few months or so. The certification can require different factors such as possessing a high school diploma, finishing the required number of training hours which vary from state to state, and being in a particular age which is allowed by the state.
Certification is done by undergoing a state examination which will test your knowledge and skills that are related with nursing assistant work. Usually, the test is conducted by the training facility which conducted the program or it could be outsourced to an online testing company which will keep and provide the needed examination. The exam is composed of two parts – a written or oral exam and a skills demonstration test which shall be conducted by authorized personnel by the licensing branch of the government usually the state’s Department of Health.
The written or oral exam is commonly composed of 90 test items or more depending on the policy of the state and education boards. The applicant should be able to pass this part of the exam as well as the skills test. The skills portion usually takes 5 randomly selected skills to be demonstrated on testing officials and to successfully pass all 5 skills. Sometimes the testing authority would require applicants to bring another person to act as the patient during the demonstration. They may also be requested to bring the necessary materials such as a toothbrush, a bedpan, and other materials which are commonly used in taking care of patients.
If the written exam is done online, one can obtain the test results immediately after taking the test. He can therefore easily know if he passes or fails and would need to retake the examination. In other cases, the test results could be given after 10 to 30 days after the exam. The skills portion results can also be taken right after the test and may include some recommendations as to which skill to improve. If one passes the exam, he or she will be certified and would be included in the state’s nurse aide registry. Most states usually employ an online registry and do not issue any paper certification. Hence, in order for one to know if a person is certified or not, one would need to check the state’s registry.
Once you have been certiifed you can work long term in a hospital, or care center taking care of patients under the observation of nurses and other medical staff. The job will generally have you performing common tasks such as housekeeping, assisting with routine dressing and feeding, and cleaning after residents, as well as transporting them and assisting with their day to day needs. The job can be quite challenging and at times may be high stress do to the job duties and working with patients who have a variety of medical needs. However, there are also many rewards with this job including the satisfaction of helping others and job security.