As we discussed in our most recent blog, more and more people are choosing to get their CNA certification and get into the medical field as certified nursing assistants. Colorado’s population is growing quickly, and it’s not just drawing young people — people love the state and are retiring here as well. An aging population across the country has caused a need for people who have been through CNA training programs.

So with more people getting CNA certification, nursing assistants are entering into the public consciousness more than ever. While in some ways that’s good, it also means that there’s more misinformation that gets passed around from person to person. People find out a little bit about certified nursing assistants and just assume the rest, and myths get started. Let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions that people think about those who get their CNA certification.

MYTH: CNAs Have No Medical Responsibility

Because CNAs aren’t allowed to prescribe medicine, diagnose medical conditions, or perform surgery, many people think that they aren’t medical professionals. Too many people believe that CNAs are defined by what they can’t do, instead of what they can.

In truth, CNAs provide extremely important medical care that can make patients not only more comfortable but also safer. CNAs take patients’ vital signs, turn patients in order to avoid bed sores, record their food and liquid intake, dress wounds, and help doctors and nurses with medical procedures.

But perhaps the most important part of being a CNA is the amount of time that’s spent with patients. Certified nursing assistants see patients more than anyone, and therefore are the first to notice changes in patient health. This information can be passed onto other medical professionals, perhaps even saving a patient’s life.

MYTH: All Work Has To Be Done In The Classroom

Traditionally, all CNA training had to be done in a classroom. But, like most other forms of training, the internet disrupted the way in which people take CNA courses.

Our hybrid CNA classes are scheduled monthly. Students are allowed to take 20 hours of theory-based courses in order to get much of the “book learning” taken care of. After that, two 8-hour hands-on skills sessions are required in our classroom setting, followed by clinical rotations at a Northern Colorado Training Institute-approved health care facility.

On the other hand, it’s also a myth that the traditional classroom-based CNA training is going away. In truth, in-person CNA courses are as popular as ever for people who do better working in a classroom environment.

MYTH: Night Shifts Are Easy

There are some jobs where the night shift is incredibly easy…and being a CNA isn’t one of them!

There’s a myth that night shifts are easier because all of the patients are asleep. All that a CNA working at night has to do is make sure that everyone is safely tucked in. After that, it’s all book reading…right?

In truth, that’s not the case. Answering patient calls take up a good part of the evening. Elderly patients often don’t sleep very well, especially if they have medication that disrupts their sleep or one that acts as a diuretic. Some patients with dementia might get up and wander the halls, while others might scream out for help. The night shift is also a time to catch up on paperwork, restock supplies, and cleaning up messes caused by patients. The night shift also has to take care of anything that didn’t get taken care of during the day.

MYTH: All CNAs Work In Nursing Homes

There’s no doubt that many CNAs work in nursing homes. No nursing home could afford to have every employee be a registered nurse, but the amount of care needed means that assisted care facilities are certainly one of the most common places you’ll find CNAs. This myth probably started because a nursing home is the most common place that the average person will encounter someone who has completed their CNA courses.

CNAs are just about everywhere. Some are employed in hospitals, and others in private doctors’ offices. Even more work in urgent care centers or other types of clinics. You’ll even find CNAs outside of medical facilities, because a growing number are helping people in their homes. Others are working in their own homes, caring for parents or loved ones in need of long-term care.

MYTH: CNA Training Can’t Fit Into Most Schedules

If a person wants to be a doctor, there are eight or more years of training after high school before they graduate with a doctorate. Becoming a doctor is a full-time job in its own right, and it’s not something that many people do in their spare time.

Taking CNA courses and getting certified nursing assistant training is something that can be done, no matter someone’s schedule. Our hybrid CNA courses can get you rolling toward certification in as little at two-and-a-half weeks. But if you’re working two jobs, the amount of time can be extended. Still, nearly everyone can finish their CNA training in under a year. If you’d love to be a CNA but think it could never fit into your schedule, we’d love to talk with you. We bet that we can find a way that it would work for you — and it’s probably more affordable than you think, too.

MYTH: Being A CNA Goes Nowhere

This one is complete nonsense! Getting your CNA training means that you have many opportunities in your future.

Let’s start with the obvious one. While some nurses go straight through school in order to become an RN, many others work their way through the training during evenings. One of the best places to start is to simply get a CNA certification, because these classes teach you the basic building blocks on which many parts of healthcare are built.

There are also advances you can make when it comes to “preferred jobs.” If you start out doing the most basic care for patients at a nursing home, you might be able to work your way up to a more prestigious job at a medical clinic or hospital.

Of course, there’s also the subject of pay. CNAs in Colorado start off making just under $30,000 a year, but if you work your way up the ladder you can make more money while also having a position that you prefer.

Ready To Know The Truth About Being a CNA?

When you get your certification, you’ll know so much more about what a CNA really does. Whether you’re looking for traditional CNA courses or hybrid classes, we have what you need. Click here to apply!