STNA (State Tested Nurse Aide) Classes in Ohio
For those who are considering a career in the medical field and specifically within the nursing aide arena, there can be much confusion regarding the myriad of programs, trainings and certifications that are offered. While each of these routes will vary depending upon how much skills training one aims to receive, the various programs will also differ according to state regulations.
In the state of Ohio, some titles are not recognized at all whereas in other locales they are. This is evident when we look at a well known title, CNA; unlike other states, Certified Nursing Assistant is not a title that is utilized in Ohio. Instead, those interested in such a career will delve into a program referred to as a State Tested Nurse Aide (STNA) which is a program that has specific requirements that need to be met according to the Ohio Administration Code §3701-17-01.
Relative to Ohio specifically, there is not a difference per say between a CNA and a STNA when it comes to licensure or duties, nor is there generally a difference in the median pay. Median pay will however differ depending on where one seeks work, as minimum wage for agencies vary on the agencies themselves and the responsibilities they assign.
Defining an STNA
The definition of an STNA is the same as the one assigned to a CNA in another state. Those who take STNA classes and pass this exam will fulfill roles and responsibilities pertaining to the nursing field and will provide their clients with long or short term care in various settings which can include home health care, hospitals, VA clinics and a myriad of other medicinal settings.
An STNA will have to follow specific protocols before being accepted into a program such as having had completed their GED or have graduated with a high school diploma. Additionally there are further requirement that state that an STNA must have provided services within a volunteer setting where no compensation was received for a period of time governed by the state of Ohio and the licensing institution.
Choosing an STNA Program / STNA Classes
This requirement is usually fulfilled within an internship or externship during the period when one is completing or about to complete various courses within the STNA program. For this reason, when seeking out programs to complete one’s education, it is important that the program that is chosen will meet these requirements in full. There are various online programs offered in this day and age of technology and distance learning, but many do not offer or promote volunteerism or require that clinical, hands on training be completed. Therefore, one can graduate from such a program but still not be able to pass the STNA due to their lack of hands on training and this can be problematic in states such as Ohio that require it.
When choosing the right STNA classes, it is also important to ensure that the program fulfills the mandated and regulated requirements according to the state of Ohio. This means that in order to become an STNA, the course chosen must meet certain guidelines. The program or training must have been completed at an accredited school or program.
Additionally those who receive their training and education must also be able to pass the STNA test which will include a series of written and hands on skills tests that must be completed with precision. Upon receiving your certification and passing the STNA tests (written and practical) all graduate’s names will be added to an external registry which keeps track of all students who have passed the STNA test and who currently and previously worked in the nursing or medical field.
STNA Readiness and Training
State tested nurse assistants are required to complete training and particular courses and all of those courses will be successfully completed within the state’s allotted time of 75 hours. Students who do not complete all 75 hours of course and practical training will not be permitted to take the STNA test. These regulated hours are imperative and though some schools may offer additional training, they must meet the minimum 75. If a student wishes to take more hours of training, that is an individual choice and has no bearing on the STNA testing process.
Training and courses will focus on two significant aspects: theoretical and clinical and it is essential that a student master and pass both aspects before attempting the STNA. Both of those areas must be training programs that have been approved and accredited by the Ohio State Department of Health.
The theoretical portion of the training will include many text book courses and students will learn and be required to understand and apply subjects such as nutrition, health, aging, and courses relating to how the body works. Additional courses in biomechanics and infection will also be required.
In the practical training, students will learn all the skills that are needed for hands on work with the people they commit to helping. These studies will center on how to take vital signs, feeding, bathing, toileting, and proper ways of dressing. Separate training in medication administration is also given during this time.
It is during this portion of training that CPR and First Aid instruction will be given and there are additional tests that need to be passed on those skills as well before taking the STNA.
What to Expect with STNA Testing
Being prepared for the STNA testing is crucial and with the Internet readily available there are many online testing questions that one can practice on prior to taking the test. Every student that finishes their training has up to 90 days to submit a request to take the STNA test. Generally your training institution will handle this process but it is a good idea to clarify with them that they in fact will do this just so you don’t miss the deadline.
Contrary to what some people have reported, the STNA exam is quite exhaustive and those who want to pass it the first time around spend a lot of time preparing for it.
The first portion of the test will be the theoretical testing which will include many questions about text book information you studied and learned. By most accounts, if the student has paid attention and completed in class and homework assignments, the written part of the exam can be easily passed.
The practical exam will follow the written and many students report that this portion is more complicated and difficult than the written exam. Students will be asked to perform numerous tasks during this testing and will also be introduced to some stressful situations, “improvisations” or scenarios as a way for the testers to gauge how they will react when these situations arise on the job.
For many, this portion of the STNA testing is the most harrowing and therefore it is essential to practice a lot during the STNA classes before taking the test and to remain confident in your capabilities while testing. STNAs are required to have a thorough understanding of all nursing duties and to be able to execute such tasks before they will be given a passing grade on this exam.