How to Become a CNA in Utah
Nursing is a very challenging and rewarding career and that includes the field of certified nursing assistant (CNA). CNAs assist the nursing staff and take on a variety of tasks in the day to day care of patients. CNAs are necessary around the clock and work one of three shits including day, evening and night. Some facilities employ CNAs to work a particular shift on a regular schedule while other facilities employ CNAs on a rotating day/night, weekday/weeknight/weekend schedule.
The requirements to become a CNA in Utah include completing an approved training program and then passing the state mandated licensing exam. The training programs must be at least 80 hours in length and include a minimum of 50 hours of class work and four 8 hour clinical shifts. CNA candidates must also complete a CPR class and some programs include the class as part of the class work time. The class work includes medical technology, nutrition, effective communication, patient’s rights and reporting. The clinical segment of the training includes hands on training in a healthcare facility and candidates learn the proper way to help a patient in and out of bed, transfer to and from a wheel chair, dressing, washing, toileting and any other tasks that requires assisting patients.
At the successful completion of the training program, each candidate will receive a program completion voucher. The voucher is then sent to the Utah Nurse Aide Registration (UNAR) office and the UNAR will send an invitation to take the licensing exam along with a list of testing sites.
The licensing exam contains two parts. One part is multiple choice questions and the second part is skills demonstration. Candidates must pass both parts of the exam in order to become licensed. If the candidate does not pass both parts after three attempts, the training program must be taken again.
CNA’s in Utah earn an average of $28,000 annually. Starting CNA salaries average about $20,000 annually and top out at $39,000. The actual salary will vary depending on several factors including geographic location and cost of living, years of experience and the type of facility where worked.
CNAs work closely with patients and provide a variety of care tasks including dressing, hygiene, toileting, feeding, assist nurses and physicians with simple procedures, escort patients to various locations within the facility for events, entertainment and medical tests. Some CNAs also collect vital signs, patient history and observe the day to day changes a patient may experience.
CNAs are typically employed in long term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted care facilities, but CNAs also find employment in outpatient care centers, rehabilitation facilities, group homes, clinics, adult daycare centers, home health care agencies, private duty home care and hospice organizations.
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