“This [exam] is to get on the state’s [nursing] registry so they can go to work,” CNA Program Coordinator and Instructor Linda Ferrick said. “... Most of [the students] are going to go into nursing or medical assistant or [surgical technician] or lab [technician] — any of those programs — so they’re getting ready to get to a degree level.”
She explained to apply for nursing assistant certification, a student must first complete the required 84 credit hours required by the program. When applying for certification, students are given a written test and also are tested for proficiency in nursing skills.
“They don’t know who their partners are going to be, they don’t know what kind of skills they’re going to get, they don’t know anything until they walk into the room and the [testing proctor] hands it to them,” Ferrick said.
Monday’s event consisted of five phases, which required students to answer questions and complete a number of tasks ranging from answering questions to demonstrating certain skills, like checking vital signs and properly moving patients. Like this week’s test, the CNA Olympics randomly selected skill testing for each student.
Heather Christy participated in the event and said her goal is to become a hospice nurse. She said she felt the olympics were a good supplement to her preparation routine.
“I actually volunteer with a hospice agency and that has kind of helped me get prepared for [testing],” Christy said. “I plan on applying to the [licensed practical nurse] program in the fall, so right now I’m just taking baby steps until I get to where I feel that’s where I want to be.”
According to a press release provided by CTC, “Chattahoochee Technical College offers different options for students wanting to enter the healthcare field as Certified Nursing Assistants. Students wanting to earn a technical certificate of credit can register for the Healthcare Assistant Program at several of the college’s campuses. Students can choose from three program tracks, including nursing assistant, medical coding and central sterile processing to prepare for careers in those areas.
“The program also provides foundational courses for those wanting to continue their studies in one of the many health science related programs at Chattahoochee Technical College. The college’s department of Community and Economic Development also offer non-credit options for those wanting short-term training to become a CNA at its Canton, Marietta, North Metro, and Paulding campuses.
“Job outlook statistics are hopeful for graduates in the CNA field. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the field is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020. Those in the field provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.”
For more information, visit www.chattahoocheetech.edu.