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9 Tips for Taking a Nurses Assistant Test

Posted on August, 09, 2021 by admin

Apprehensive about taking your certification?  You are not alone!  Very few people actually like taking tests.  Even fewer people like preparing for tests but with a few simple tips to remember, getting ready for your CNA practice test or exam can go a little smoother than you may have expected.

  1. Make a schedule for yourself.  You probably don’t have entire days that you can devote to studying and that’s fine.  As long as you take time out of your day to study, you should be fine.  Of course, your schedule should also include eating, sleeping, and possibly some time with friends and family.
  2. Write up flashcards.  Flashcards are a great tool that you can carry with you anywhere.  If you have a couple minutes to spare while riding the bus, pull out your flashcards and go over important information.
  3. Create a mnemonic device.  A mnemonic device is a way to easily memorize information by applying that information to something else.  For example, a mnemonic device for remembering the Great Lakes is to remember the word HOMES, as in Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.  Use that idea to create your own.
  4. Have friends and family test you.  Give your test material to people you know and have them quiz you on it.  It’s always helpful to interact with others and this is a great way to be with people you love while still studying.
  5. Don’t procrastinate.  If you have studying to do, don’t put it off until the next day because, eventually, the next day will be the test day and by then it will be too late.  Study a bit everyday to get yourself prepared but not overwhelmed.
  6. Have a reward in mind.  Tasks become easier when you know you are working toward something.  Tell yourself that if you pass the test, you will reward yourself with an ice cream cone or, if you have kids, a night alone!
  7. Make vocabulary sheets.  Being familiar with the language of a test will always help you.  If you’re comfortable with the vocabulary of the subject, you’ll be more comfortable with the subject.
  8. Don’t cram the day before your test.  Studying should not last only one night.  To really retain the information, you’ll need to work a bit everyday.  Cramming the night before might not even be enough to get you through the actual test.
  9. Use your common sense.  If a question seems ridiculously hard, go back and reread it; maybe you missed a key word the first time through.  Before you answer, make sure what you put makes sense logically.

While taking a test is rarely easy, we hope this quick guide gives you some useful tips for taking your Certified Nurses Assistant exam.  If you have any more tips that help you in test taking, let us know!

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Overcoming Stress for a Nurse’s Aide

Posted on July, 30, 2019 by admin

The healthcare field is known as one of the most stressful occupations out there and with good reason.  Worried patients and their families, at times, can easily take this stress out on innocent aides.  The same can go with doctors and nurses, as well.  It is unnecessary to increase this stress when you when you have the possibility to eliminate it with a more welcoming work space.

While some stressful situations simply cannot be avoided, there are ways to make even a nurse’s aides workplace a little less stressful.

  • Encourage familiarity between STNAs and patients.  See if you can get patients to bring in pictures of themselves and their families.  Hospices, nursing homes, hospitals, and other nursing facilities can easily become cold, uncomfortable places.  By incorporating personal pictures, it makes the patient more personable.  If the patient is older, a picture from their youth could remind the patient of better times and show the nurse’s aide a different side to the patient.
  • Brighten up the office.  No matter the field, no one likes to work in a stark, dreary environment.  Maybe a few live plants could boost the place up.  A fresh coat of paint could add a modern edge or just make the atmosphere brighter.  Look around the space and try to think of what you would change if it were your home.  Making patients and employees more comfortable will raise the spirits of anyone who enters.
  • Take holidays into account.  Whether you’re looking to celebrate or not, decorating for the holiday season is a great way to break up what could otherwise become a dull and monotonous workplace.  Remember, holiday decorations don’t even have to be in recognition of any specific holiday.  If you want to keep your workplace as neutral as possible, stringing up some paper snowflakes and garland will give the space a wintery feel without mentioning any actual holiday.
  • Encourage a healthy lifestyle in the office.  Instead of supplying  candy bars and other sugary snacks for quick boosts of energy, how about providing apples, bananas, and bags of nuts.  Instead of sugary soda in the fridge, keep a water cooler in the office to quench thirst.  These small steps will keep energy levels up and employees feeling better.

Any workplace will have some level of stress but it is in everyone’s best interest to keep the stress as minimal as possible.  If you have more stress reducing tips, let us know!

Required Training To Become An STNA

Posted on June, 07, 2016 by admin

If you’re interested in becoming a State Tested Nursing Assistant in the State of Ohio, you’re probably wondering what kind of training is required of you before you can take the exam. Working as an STNA can be a very fulfilling career if you enjoy working with people in a personal way and have a caring heart. It is also a great way to try out the health care field and see if healthcare might be the right fit for you. Some individuals who become STNAs love their career and decide to stick with it, while others choose to move onto other areas such as nursing.

Whether you plan to work as an STNA for the majority of your career or use the position as a stepping stone along your career path, you cannot begin until you get the proper training. Without training, you will not be able to pass the state certification exam and work as an STNA. Wondering what the required training for an STNA looks like? Here’s an overview of what you can expect when you sign up for STNA training classes.

How long is STNA training?

Most STNA training programs provide at least 75 hours of combined classroom, lab, and clinical training. The state of Ohio requires 75 hours minimum, so some programs may require additional hours on top of that. Training programs can typically be completed in 2-8 weeks, depending on your schedule and how often your class meets.

Out of the 75 hours required by the state, 16 hours have to be clinical experience at a skilled nursing facility. This is the hands-on portion of your training that will give you a glimpse into the daily work life of an STNA.

What topics are covered during STNA training?

During your training, you will cover many topics that will help you develop your personal care skills. Learning takes place through theory and practical experiences so that you get a chance to put into practice what you have learned. Some of the topics you will cover include:

  • Nutrition
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Communication Skills
  • Resident Rights
  • Infection Control
  • Body Mechanics
  • Vital Signs
  • Observation & Reporting
  • Human Disease Process
  • Death & Dying

These topics are meant to provide you the most knowledge possible and prepare you to begin your career as an STNA.

Once you’ve completed your STNA training, it will be time to take the state exam. The exam consists of a written portion, as well as a skills evaluation. After you’ve finished your training program you should review everything you’ve learned and then take the exam with confidence.

Becoming an STNA is not difficult if you have a good work ethic, enjoy working with people, and are committed to giving your all during your training program. You will learn both the information and skills you need to succeed as an STNA if you pay attention and apply everything you’ve learned. Good luck!

Are you ready to become an STNA? We’re ready to help you start your career. Register for classes today with Premier Choice Health Services, Ohio’s number 1 STNA training program. Contact us today to get started!

Technology has been changing STNA training for decades now, whether you believe this has been for better or worse. Those who have had careers in nursing for years now have likely seen changes both big and small in their field due to emerging technology. Advances such as the Internet, social media, and smart phones have all made their mark on advancing STNA careers. So what does this mean for you and your future in nursing?

Likely you, too, will see many technological changes in the future of your career. Here are some tech changes you may encounter in the future.

Patient Education
While this can sometimes feel overwhelming, with a patient trying to overshadow your professional opinion with one they’ve read online, the future improvement of online medicine may actually improve your patient’s visit. As the Internet continues to advance and provide more stable and accurate information on patient’s symptoms and potential conditions, patients will be able to better relate their ailments and possible or preferred treatment options.

Laboratory Testing Online
One such example of technology taking life as a STNA to an advanced level is Life Labs, a Canadian laboratory testing company. This month Life Labs announced their new online portal dubbed “My Results”, in which patients will be able to check their test results online, instead of waiting for a phone call or reporting in to their doctor or nurse. Test results including cytology, histology, genetics cytology, colon cancer checks or any other specialty tests will not be shared online.

That’s right, it’s finally happening. If Home Depot can have robot helpers, so can your hospital or nursing facility. While robots are not likely to be replacing nurses or doctors any time soon, their enhanced abilities certainly offer unimaginable help in the medical field. These robots are used in the operating room, and are even used to deliver supplies, offering nurses more one-on-one time with their patients.

Online Nursing Educations
While online schooling is not entirely new to the world of STNA classes and training, it certainly continues to improve as the years go by. Online training allows future STNA workers a flexible environment to pursue a rewarding career they wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to study. Access to advanced online textbooks, video classes, and one-on-one video conferencing with professors offers more hope for the nursing shortage.

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Communication: A Key To Exceptional Healthcare Service

Posted on July, 21, 2015 by admin

No matter how knowledgeable or accredited you may be as a professional, or how well you did during your STNA training and classes, others opinions of you can quickly falter if you’ve shown poor communication skills. Whether performed in private care, hospitals, patient’s homes, or nursing homes, exceptional healthcare service is a must for an STNA career. One of the biggest factors in how well you behave with your patient and your colleagues is communication.

Dr. Albert Mehrabian conducted many studies on the topic of nonverbal communication and found that nearly 93% of all communication is nonverbal. Be mindful on not only what and how you are saying something, but also the gestures and expressions you use while saying it. Dependent on the way you speak you may either welcome or put-off those around you.

Problems May Arise
Communication is key when it comes to sharing information between parties, which happens to be an integral part of the medical field. When you lack proper communication skills you directly affect not only your patient’s compliance, anxiety, satisfaction, and safety, but also your team’s level of performance, co-operation, efficiency, and overall job satisfaction.

Your Colleagues
Have you ever heard the saying: “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch”? This can prove true in the medical field. All it takes is one person with poor communication or team-oriented behavior to bring everybody down. Good communication promotes fluid teamwork and prevents workplace conflicts.

Bedside Manner And Patient Relationships
Good communication is key in having the best possible bedside manner, not to mention the overall relationship between you and your patients. Without proper communication you put your patient at risk. Remember that good patient communication is about more than just talking. Practice good communication by listening to your patient and acknowledging their woes, as well as sharing pertinent information with them.

Whether speaking to your colleagues or your patients, never tell them you are going to do something if you have no intentions to do so. Be as up front as you can with your patient about their treatments.

So much of the medical field has to do with fantastic communication skills. It’s never too late or too early to begin practicing ways to be a better communicator. Doing so will benefit you immensely in your personal and professional life.

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Top 10 Traits All STNAs Must Possess

Posted on May, 18, 2015 by admin

Those who are coming close to the end of their STNA training classes are probably curiously looking to the future of their nursing careers and wondering what kind of STNA they will be. While not all STNA’s are the same, there are 10 key traits they possess in order to get their tasks accomplished. While not all of these traits come naturally, all are necessary and beneficial to your career in the nursing field.

1. Empathy
Having fellow feeling for your patients is an extraordinary personality trait that will make all the difference to both you and your patients. As a nurse, you will be dealing with injured and ill patients, as well as their families and loved ones every single day.

2. Physically Capable
As a nurse you will be standing and doing physically demanding labor for most of the day. Good physical endurance is key to being an STNA, as lifting patients, helping them perform bodily tasks, and being on your feet all day is a regular part of the job.

3. Reliability
In any job, reliability is a well-favored trait. Your employers need to know that you are going to show up on time, do your job effectively, and be ready for whatever circumstances may come up. All the more so in the STNA field when you have not just co-workers, but patients relying on you for help each day.

4. Impartiality
As a STNA your job is to care for every patient who comes through your door, regardless of the color of their skin, their background, or their beliefs. Having an unbiased, impartial attitude toward your patients will show that you care and help you avoid picking favorites.

5. Able to Make Quick Judgment Calls
During your training you were likely taught that things can move fast in the nursing world, so when an emergency arises and your patient needs treatment fast you’ll have to think on your feet and make a judgement call without hesitation.

6. Trust and Respect
Earning the respect and trust of your patients and the staff around you, as well as giving it back in return will make you a valuable asset to your team. Your patients are not always going to be in the most dignified of positions, by showing them respect and dignity your patients will learn to trust you and will feel more at ease during their stay.

7. Attention to Detail
As a STNA you are responsible for remembering details and facts about each patient, including their medications, allergies, and personal details. Having a fantastic memory and great attention to detail will help you in this regard.

8. Emotional Stability
As a nurse you go through a myriad of emotions while on the job. Some are amazing, such as seeing a patient recover and finally get to return home, and some are devastating, such as the loss of a long-term patient. Many STNA’s develop close bonds with their patients and will need to brace themselves should anything take a turn for the worse. Emotional strength is a key trait for continuing as an STNA.

9. A Hard Work Ethic
Nursing is not an easy job, in fact many say it’s quite difficult, but if you are determined and have an excellent work ethic you’ll go far in your new career. Patience, endurance, and a willingness to take on new challenges are all part of having a hard work ethic.

10. Communication Skills
Having great communication skills is not only useful in everyday life and relationships, but it is one of the best traits you can have in the nursing field. As a nurse, having regular, clear, and open communication between your patients, their families, the nursing staff, cleaners, and doctors will make you extremely effective at your job.

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Increased Funding for Home- and Community-Based Services

Posted on September, 10, 2013 by admin

The Affordable Care Act includes a variety of program improvements and funding increases for long-term care services nationwide. The goal was to make care more accessible for those who want to stay at home and not go to long-term facilities, such as nursing homes. This makes home care more accessible to Americans everywhere. The act includes financial incentives for states to further support these programs and expand their reach.

As baby boomers continue to age, the American elder population continues to swell. Care facilities are in high demand and often have waiting lists to get in. Because of this, home- and community-based services have grown more popular. Some don’t want to “be in a home,” others don’t need the full-time care. Whatever the reason, home care is booming. To help reorient funding to where it’s needed, the Affordable Care Act incentivizes states to increasingly subsidize resources for this type of care.

Community First Choice (CFC)
Federal medical assistance increases six percent for states electing to cover home- and community-based attendant services. These attendant services include assisting with daily routines and any medically-necessary activities.

Money Follows the Person (MFP)
Grants have been provided to 13 new states in the past couple years to join the other 29 states and the District of Columbia currently enrolled in the MFP program. This program helps individuals with long-term services and enables them to move out of institutions and back into their homes or other community-based environments.

Home- and Community-Based Services State Plan Option
This section of the Affordable Care Act allows states to target home- and community-based care at certain groups of people and services provided. The option also assists states in ensuring the quality of care provided in these settings.

As these changes are implemented and refined over the coming years, demand for home-based STNAs will skyrocket. Community-based STNAs will also see a drastic increase as the community long-term care field expands to provide seniors and those with disabilities more options for care and socialization.

STNA Payment Plans

Posted on March, 27, 2013 by admin

Becoming a state tested nurse aide can be an incredible career choice for people from any income level.  However, many people are on a tight budget and rightfully worry about how to pay for their STNA classes and license.  Finding a solution to this problem may seem like a difficult task but it can be done.

With financing available from PCHS, nearly anyone on nearly any budget can start improving their career by studying to become an STNA.  With payment options from PCHS, students can quickly and easily pay off their loans so that they can stop worrying about debts when they should be focusing on their career.

Enjoying the benefits of PCHS payment plans is easy and will get you on the track to a promising career as an STNA.

  • On the day of enrollment, simply bring a $200 deposit so that you can start your payment plan.  This deposit is non-refundable but is applied to the cost of the program, regardless.
  • If you would like to lower the costs of your payment plan, simply bring a larger amount on enrollment day.  This extra money will go toward the completion of your final bill so your payments will decrease.
  • Payments for our STNA classes may be paid with cash, cashier’s checks, money orders, debit cards, and credit cards for your convenience.
  • Of course, if you wish to pay off the entire class at once, you absolutely may.  PCHS offers payment plans because we know that some people are on a tighter budget than others.  We want the experience of becoming an STNA as positive as possible.

If you have any questions about PCHS payment plans for becoming an STNA, please give us a call.  Our representatives are standing by to answer any concerns you may have.  To learn more about becoming an STNA, visit today!

New Year, New Goals as an STNA

Posted on January, 10, 2013 by admin

With the New Year upon us, many people in every profession will be looking to uphold their New Year’s resolutions.  Of course, your resolution could be something simple like doing better at work but it might be more helpful for your resolutions if you’re very specific with them.  If you’ve had trouble coming up with your own resolution, we have thought of a few that may help you this next year as an STNA.

  • Organize.  This goes to every aspect of your life.  If your home life is organized, your work life will fall in line easier and vice versa.  Set aside time every day to catch up on tying up loose ends from the day before.  Most importantly, organize time in your life when you can relax.
  • Reach out.  By creating positive relationships with colleagues and patients, you’ll find your work days go by faster and are more enjoyable.  If you like where you work and who you work with, waking up for that surprise third shift won’t be so bad.
  • Be open.  Have an open mind.  Have open ears.  Have an open heart.  Listen to others and take advice when it is given.  Don’t shut people or ideas out because you are unfamiliar with them.  As an STNA, your job will be more enjoyable the more accepting you are.
  • Be early.  Rarely do people complain about others being early to meetings or gatherings.  Get in the habit of being early wherever you go and you will greatly reduce the possibility of you getting somewhere important late.  The extra effort to be early will impress your patients and your coworkers.
  • Eliminate errors.  Obviously, when you perform a task, you’re not trying to make mistakes but they do happen.  Eliminating errors sounds like an immense task but it is really quite simple.  If you have to write something up, simply read it over before submitting it.  If you’re meeting with a patient, check their history before going in.  Small things can make a huge difference.
  • Research at home.  If you are told to do something, take orders, of course, but check it out when you get home.  Knowing what you are doing is one thing, knowing why you’re doing something will separate you from competition.  A few minutes of research are enough to give you the knowledge you need to make better decisions.

Take these helpful hints into the New Year.  Maybe they can help you with your patients and with your coworkers.  If you have more tips or need more training on how to be a better STNA in 2013, let us know.

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Bridging the Culture Gap Between STNA’s and Patients

Posted on November, 02, 2012 by admin

It’s not something many people think about or even want to think about but there are distinct, institutionalized barriers set up around age and it exists throughout our entire lives.  For the most part, children are placed in schools based more on their age then their ability.  After education, people tend to slowly move up the ladder as they age.  Even the elderly are, for a large part, relegated to certain places like nursing homes and senior day care centers.

With all this separation from one generation to the next, it’s no wonder that different age groups find it hard to relate to one another.  For most people, this doesn’t present a problem because they are comfortably surrounded by others in their age group.

There are, however, areas where vastly different generations and cultures meet and must work together.  Many nurse’s aides work extensively with the elderly on a daily basis.

While both the patient and the aide can be completely professional, the cultural differences are sure to arise at some point.  The key to maintaining a healthy working relationship for everyone is communication and compassion.

For those born after 1980, technology has played a large role in their world for most of their lives.  Since communication through cell phones and other technology is so different from what the elderly are used to, these young people may come off as rude or inconsiderate.  A quick answer from a young person may be interpreted as disrespect with no such intent.

For young aides working with older patients, it is crucial that they understand where their actions and words may be misinterpreted.  When working with older people, young aides need to recognize that people from an older generation see patience as a sign of respect.  Younger people may need to spend a little more time with individual patients to make sure the patient knows that they are being taken care of.

For both parties involved, the keys to keeping the relationship strong is to keep communication and compassion at the forefront.  Instead of quick, irrational responses, younger aides and older patients need to talk things through calmly.  It is also beneficial if both people recognize that the other one is just another person trying to live their life.

By remembering others’ emotions, everyone can have a better experience.  If you have any questions on how to better relate professionally to another generation, contact us at PCHS!

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