Everybody loves a freebie, but free CNA programs? It’s okay if you’re skeptical – it does sound too good to be true. But truth be told, there are options out there that will provide CNA training free of charge! This requires a bit of digging and it takes on different forms depending on the CNA School, but there are certainly options out there – and we’ve provided a list to make it a bit simpler!
Some free CNA programs worth considering . . .
- CNA Scholarships – This is probably the most common option for free CNA school. Lots of colleges and technical institutes offer plentiful scholarships. All you have to do is fill out some paperwork and your CNA education might just be paid for! If you’re searching for nursing scholarships, be sure to check our nursing scholarship.
- Assisted Living Communities – Due to the rise of elderly clients in nursing homes, assisted living communities, and other residential care facilities are in desperate need of well-trained Certified Nursing Assistants to work for them. Because of this high demand, many of these communities have begun providing free CNA programs, to increase their CNA/resident ratio and provide better care for their clients.
- Job Corps – In many states, this government organization provides free nurse assistant programs to young people who qualify as low-income.
- American Red Cross – Some locations of this nonprofit organization will train nursing assistants free of charge. Programs vary by state, but their goal as an organization is to help communities and people in need, and they are doing so by training others to assist in carrying out their mission.
These are exciting opportunities for aspiring CNAs to get training for free. Do keep in mind that though the tuition for CNA training may be free, there may be cost involved for study materials, lab costs, exam fees, etc. For more information on free CNA programs in your state, check out this list of free state CNA training options.
And if you’re not looking for CNA training, but want to learn more about caregiver, check out online caregiver training courses.
If you’re considering getting an HHA Certificate, this is for you! Becoming an HHA (home health aide) is a great career move. It’s the fastest growing profession in America so if you do well in your program, have a caring heart, and can pass the appropriate screens, you’re almost certain to find a home health aide job. Getting a HHA certification is the first step in booming a certified home health aide. Many states allow you to work as a companion caregiver without formal training, however getting your certificate as a home health aide will lead to higher caregiver pay, more career opportunities, and less caregiver burnout – the more you know, the better prepared you will be on the job.
Here are some of our Frequently Asked Questions about becoming an HHA:
Q: Will becoming an HHA increase my chances of getting a job?
A: YES. Did you know that according to the US’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, job availability for HHAs is expected to grow 69% from 2010 to 2020? That’s way faster than the average job growth of all other occupations. This is the perfect time to get an HHA Certificate and take advantage of such a hot job market!
Q: How do I get an HHA Certificate?
A: To get certified as an HHA, you need to find an accredited HHA Certificate Program in your State. Check your state nurse registry and verify school credentials before selecting a program. Also, ask about job placement support. Good schools help students find their first job as a home health aide.
Q: Do HHAs get paid more than companions?
A: Generally speaking, yes. With certification comes higher pay. Also, many states are now starting to require the home care agencies hire more skilled workers. You can likely find an HHA program for less than a thousand dollars and over time, you’ll easily make this money back in higher caregiver wages. HHAs are typically paid about one to two dollars more per hour than caregivers without any formalized training. For more specific information on HHA pay, check out the Caregiver, CNA, and HHA Pay Guide.
For more benefits to taking an HHA test and getting certified, see our previous blog post on the Pros of Taking a Home Health Aide Test.
Featured this week: Moriah Brown
Greeting Caregivers, CNAs and HHAs!
As you know, we’ve started a blog series that we’re calling “A Day in the Life of a Caregiver/CNA/HHA.” We’ve collected some of your stories and wisdom from your personal experiences to share with the myCNAjobs caregiver community!
Our featured caregiver of the week is Moriah Brown! We asked Moriah some questions in order to give you another personalized perspective into working a caregiver job. Here’s what Moriah had to say . . .
Q: Tell us a little about yourself! What’s your name? Where are you from? Are you currently working as a caregiver/CNA/HHA?
A: My name is Moriah Brown and I’m a recent transplant to the Carlsbad area from Portland, Oregon. For a while I was working and going to school full time, and as much as I wanted to devote all of my energy to both school and being a caregiver, I couldn’t do both things well- so I took a break from caregiving. Now that I’ve finished my degree, I am ready to refocus and get back into a caregiver job!
Q: Why did you originally choose to become a caregiver? What keeps you working as a caregiver?
A: I started as a caregiver when I was 18 years old; it was originally a fluke! I got a job as a dishwasher in the kitchen of an assisted living home so I could save up money to move out of my parents house. Not long after, I was offered an opportunity to work as a caregiver. I’ve continued caregiving for 8 years now because I love it! I love the people I work with- it’s such a good feeling to come home at the end of the day and feel like you’ve spent your day doing something good for someone else.
Q: What is one challenge you face at your job? How do you overcome it?
A: I am a naturally empathetic person, so it can be difficult to see someone endure what is often times not an easy or pleasant time of their life. I do art outside of caregiving to give myself a healthy and productive outlet. I have also learned to manage my expectations of what progress can mean from patient to patient.
Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for new or aspiring caregivers, CNAs or HHAs?
A: Remember that each patient is an individual person and don’t forget to treat them that way! It can be easy to form a routine and stop seeing people as individuals, but you have to remember that this is the reason you became a caregiver, so you need to give them your best. Every. Single. Time.
Q: What’s your favorite part about going to work each day?
A: Every job and each person is different. You might have a bad day or a great one, but you’ll never be bored!
Does Moriah’s experience sound similar to yours? Or is it pretty different? Comment and tell us your personal experience working a caregiver or nurse aide job! Keep checking back hear from more caregivers in our “Day in the Life” blog!
Being a caregiver requires you to follow a pretty rigid routine. Many of your day-to-day duties are incredibly similar. You fall into certain rhythms and patterns. And that’s a good thing! It means you’re perfecting your job – you know what needs doing and you get it done! Your client or patients probably appreciate it a lot!
But do you ever get an itch to mix things up a bit? Not even just for your sake, but for the sake of your clients too? Here are some suggestions to add some new excitement to your caregiver job!
- Celebrate holidays. This is just an awesome excuse to have some fun! Obviously the appropriateness of what you can do depends on your client, but you can figure something out! For example, bring them a small gift and a card on their birthday and sing to them! Or make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.
- Play a board game or a card game. Ask your client what kinds of games they enjoy and offer to play a few rounds! When I was a caregiver for a family member of mine, we played endless games of rummy and had a BLAST!
- Listen to music together. Casually ask about their favorite music and surprise them by bringing a CD next time you see them! This is a great one because you can listen to music while going about your daily routine with your client – fun and efficient!
- Go on an outing. If your client or patient is mobile, visit a museum, go see a movie, or just go on a walk together. This one is definitely dependent on the circumstances of your client, but if it’s OK-ed with the supervising RN and the family, suggest it to your client!
- Make their favorite meal. Again, if it’s approved with the RN, this could be a special treat for you and the client! Everyone loves food.
Being a caregiver can be really fun – it’s such a rewarding career choice. Mix up your routine with some fun, enjoyable activities for you and your client. Just be sure to check with the supervising RN and family members if these would be appropriate for your specific client!
And, we’d love to get your take. Any ideas for fellow caregivers working caregiver and CNA jobs? What do you do to spice up your job?
Thursday maybe all about Thanks, but Tuesday is all about giving.
We wanted to celebrate Giving Tuesdays with our Caregivers with #UNselfie.
Show us how or why you’re giving thanks this year and share it with us through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Write a brief message on a piece of paper included in the picture or just write it down in the caption. Use the #UNselfie and #CAREgiver hashtags and spread the love!
We’ll feature the best UNselfies on Thanksgiving!
Yes, Chuck Norris is the Martial Arts God of the 80′s, but here are some of our favorite Chuck Norris jokes turned CNA jobs jokes:
- Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door. – CNAs can slam a revolving door
- Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits. – CNAs do not sleep. They wait.
- Superman and Chuck Norris once bet on an arm wrestling contest. The loser had to wear there underwear on the outside of their clothes.- Superman and a CNA once bet on an arm wrestling contest. The loser had to wear there underwear on the outside of their clothes.
- Chuck Norris can clap with one hand. – CNAs can clap with one hand
- Chuck Norris can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves. - CNAs can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves.
Education is essential to growing in your career as a caregiver – it’s good for you, the employer, and your clients. We’re often asked about “caregiver training school” here at myCNAjobs so we’ve created a quick summary.
Caregiver Training School Summary:
- There is no formal “caregiver training school”. There is online caregiver training and in-person CNA school programs. However, you don’t necessarily need to attend a traditional school to become a caregiver.
- Any training can lead to a decrease in caregiver burnout and an increase in caregiver pay – a win!
- Do your due diligence before selecting a school or online program. There are a lot of shady sites out there looking to make a quick buck– make sure the company is backed and accredited.
Here’s how myCNAjobs Caregiver Training Programs Works:
- Find your state. You can select your state caregiver training here.
- Take the courses online at your leisure
- You’ll get a badge on your caregiver job profile alerting employers that you’ve completed the training
Course topics include becoming a caregiver, typical duties and responsibilities, first aid training, providing good nutrition, understanding elder abuse, memory loss issues, end of life care, and how to provide the best possible care in a private or assisted living setting.
Want to learn more about caregiver training school? Check out the online caregiver training center.
CNA jobs can be overwhelming. Especially on Monday mornings.
There’s something about Mondays that make it feel more like a never ending to-do list rather than a fresh start to try and master unfamiliar techniques or get along with that somewhat challenging patient. But it can be difficult when the weekends never feel long enough to recharge. So what’s our number one tip to avoid feeling deflated? Caregiver Training.
Here’s a question to consider: Would someone who has never learned car mechanics fix a car easily? Caregivers without the right tools shouldn’t be expected to know everything. “Rome wasn’t build in a day,” as they would say. It’s not only about being more prepared to handle difficult situations, but like mastering any skill, the job gets easier and easier to enjoy with the proper education.
So check out the caregiver training of your choice, whether it’s with your current agency, online program, or nearby school, and get your head start in your career!
Caregivers often waffle between whether or not to take a Home Health Aide test if they are already working as an in-home caregiver. It’s different for each caregiver; much of it depends on your personal preferences and career goals.
But there are some definite positives to testing for home health aide certification! So if you’re on the fence, here are a few pros that may just help you to take that leap of faith and get licensed as an HHA!
Pros to Taking a Home Health Aide Test
- You’ll make more money! – This is an obvious plus! Generally, HHAs and CNAs get paid more than Caregivers. By getting some extra education and taking a test, you could raise your average rate of pay per hour by over two dollars! For more information, visit our page on HHA Pay Rates.
- You’ll gain knowledge in your field! – If your desire is to make your caregiver job into an HHA career, education is the key to career growth and advancement! Studying and acquiring knowledge in your field will allow you not only to pass the Home Health Aide Test, but to do your best working as a home health aide.
- You’ll have more job opportunities! – HHAs and CHHAs have some skills and knowledge that caregivers do not, therefore they have more jobs open to them. Home health aide jobs require a specialized skill set available only through certification.
Clearly there are some serious perks to taking a home health aide test! This is obviously a personal decision and becoming an HHA is not for everyone- but if you were considering taking the plunge, hopefully this blog post has encouraged you on your path to a home health aide job!
This post is written by a myCNAjobs employee and former caregiver
Here’s another piece of self-care advice for caregivers!
When I say the words “fast food,” what do you think of? Probably words like “unhealthy” and “greasy” come to mind. And for caregivers that are constantly on the move, this is a problem. You’re probably thinking “It’d be nice to eat fast AND healthy!” Well we’re here to provide some tips to help you out with that.
Pack a healthy lunch
If you’re already thinking, “Nice try, but that’s not fast!” Let me explain! It can be a quick process. If you keep your home well-stocked with frozen foods from companies such as Amy’s Kitchen, Organic Bistro, and Kashi, all you have to do is pull one out and take it with you! For the days you do have a few extra minutes before your rush off to your caregiver job, you can prepare yourself a healthy wrap, fill up a thermos with soup, and grab a yogurt for a snack!
Look for pre-made meals at supermarkets
This may seem an unlikely place to find “fast-food,” but recently a lot of supermarkets have caught on to the healthier, ready-made foods! You can find pre-made salads, organic entrees, and take them with you to your CNA job! You save time by getting it ready-made and you still eat healthy! Win-win!
Don’t write off nature’s “fast-foods”
Fresh fruits and vegetables are always easy to take to work with you! And don’t forget nuts, like raw almonds! They make a great snack as you go through your day bestowing great care upon your client!
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful. A healthy caregiver is a happy caregiver (with less caregiver burnout) – so take care of yourself and eat right even in the midst of a fast-paced job! If you have any on-the-go healthy diet tips to share, please comment. We’d love to hear from you all!