Tampa, Florida is the county seat of Hillsborough County. Situated near the Gulf of Mexico, the Tampa Bay area has the largest port in the state. There are more than 4 million people in the Bay area with the City of Tampa being home to just under 340,000 of them. The popularity of the area can be attributed to its tourism opportunities, which contributes to its healthy economy. It’s also home to football, baseball, hockey, and soccer teams, thus making it a hub for sports lovers. There are also educational opportunities via a number of colleges and universities with CNA training being just one of the career areas that are covered.
If you’re interested in becoming a CNA in Tampa, there are plenty of opportunities available. This demand will continue long into the future since nearly 13% of the population is over the age of 65. That’s almost 41,000 people needing home health, nursing home, and assisted living care. CNAs are needed in hospitals, nursing homes, Hospice facilities, home health companies, and other clinical environments.
The first step toward becoming a CNA in Tampa is to enter into a state-approved program. There are currently 6 approved programs in the Tampa area. To qualify for certification after completing your program, you must be able to pass a Level II background check with fingerprinting, be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, and pass the course with the minimum score required by the board at that particular time.
If a student doesn’t pass the nursing assistant competency examination within three attempts, the student cannot retake the exam unless the training program is completed again. The exam is a two-part exam that consists of a performance section and a written section. The written portion takes approximately 90 minutes with 60 of the questions being multiple-choice. Applicants that speak Spanish can be given the exam in Spanish if there is difficulty reading English. The skills portion of the exam requires the application to perform 5 randomly selected skills such as taking vitals and CPR.
The structure of the exam is in line with the courses that are taken to become eligible for it. Approved courses have the classroom portion and the skills portion so that students learn everything needed to pass the exam and have a successful career.
Once you have your certification, you can evaluate the employment options that are available to you. The average annual salary of a CNA is approximately $28,000. Of course, where you work will determine your salary. Sometimes, demand gives leverage as to how much you are paid. It’s possible to exceed the average, which is why it’s important to study the many opportunities available in Tampa. If you’re interested in working in a hospital environment, Tampa and its surrounding areas have more than 20 hospitals, including trauma centers. U.S. News and World Report ranked several of the area hospitals as part of “America’s Best Hospitals.”
As for the typical duties of a CNA, they involve direct patient care. These duties include taking vital signs, administering medication as mandated by a patient’s prescriptions, helping patients with basic self-care, and documenting a patient’s status. CNAs are also very important during the surgery recovery process. It’s very important to be a patient person, as some patients have difficulty communicating. A CNA can be a very important component in relaying a patient’s needs to an RN or doctor. This certification is also a great first step toward an advanced nursing career.
The average CNA Salary in Tampa is $27,880 (BLS)
Of course, working as a CNA means going to and from work as efficiently as possible. You can drive in the city, but public transit is also available if you don’t want to fuss with traffic or parking. Between Y’bor City and the Channel District is Tampa Union Station, which is the base for intercity rail service. This is different from the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) that runs light rail, bus, and other transportation options throughout the entire Tampa Bay area.
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) operates streetcars and public buses. Downtown is the Marion Transit Center that is the hub of the bus system. There are approximately 30 routes that are run daily.
The streetcar system is called the TECO Line Streetcar System, which runs on a 2.7-mile route between the Channel District, the Tampa Convention Center, Downtown, and Y’bor City.
Regardless of how you choose to get to and from school or your job, there are plenty of options that will coincide with your schedule. Even if you decide to drive yourself, there are a number of freeways that are designed to allow for the consistent flow of traffic.
When looking for a CNA training program, you need one that’s approved by the state. There are six programs in Tampa, but Aparicio Levy Technical College (ALTC) is known for its quality CNA program. The mission statement of the school is to provide students with an education that supports them and enables them to excel. Their goal is to prepare students for life. The school is recognized for the high expectations it has for its students, credibility, and the relevant technical training it provides.
The typical class includes the required classroom instruction and skills training. Your time is split between these two things so that you get the hours required to take the certification exam. Skills training includes learning how to take vitals and interpret them, CPR training, what to do in an emergency situation, proper recordkeeping, and direct patient care (bathing, dressing, feeding, communicating, etc.). By following what ALTC requires of you and passing the class with the minimum score, you’ll have everything you need to successfully take the exam and move forward with your career. The education you receive will set you up for furthering your nursing career. You don’t have to remain a CNA but being a certified nursing assistant builds a firm foundation in healthcare.
|Wharton High School||20150 Bruce B. Downs||Tampa||FL||33647||813-631-4710|
|Aparicio Levy Technical College||5410 N 20th Street||Tampa||FL||33610||813-231-1886|
|Finlay Institute Of Nursing||8011 N. Himes Ave Suite 1||Tampa||FL||33614||813-500-8938|
|Premier Nursing Academy||16003 Ridley Place||Tampa||FL||33614||260-254-6070|
If you are worried about the financial aspect of acquiring an education, there are free or low-cost CNA training programs available. Sometimes, you can work in exchange for an education. There are nursing homes, hospice centers, and assisted living facilities that offer this option. If you don’t want to work to get your education for free, the American Red Cross offers low-cost state-approved training at just over $1,000. Then again, you can apply for a PELL grant or scholarships that will completely pay for your education at an approved institution. Getting the required education doesn’t mean that you have to go in debt, but you must research your options and pursue them. The only way to know what you can get is to go for it, whether it’s applying for a work-for-training program or a grant.