San Antonio is the largest city in the United States by population with more than 1.5 million people calling it home. It was founded in 1718 as a colonial outpost, making it the first chartered settlement in Texas in 1731. To this day, it’s fast-growing with an aging population that constitutes nearly 12% of the total. This booming population is the result of opportunity and a solid economy. For example, the downtown is a very active core to the city, but the city as a whole is home to such attractions as The Alamo, the Cathedral of San Fernando, the Spanish Governor’s Palace, SeaWorld, the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, the North Star Mall, and many others.
Whether you already live in San Antonio or you plan on moving there, you might be looking for a career path. If nursing is an option, it is very easy to become a CNA, especially with long-term care needs increasing in the area. With the city having over 150,000 people over the age of 65, certified nursing assistants are becoming more in demand than ever.
The path to becoming a CNA is a short, yet challenging, one. You must choose a state-approved training program. A GED or high school diploma isn’t required but will be if you choose to advance your nursing career. A criminal background check will need to be completed and you can’t have a felony on your record.
Once you are enrolled in a program, you must complete a minimum of 100 training hours, which consists of 40 clinical training hours in a nursing facility and 60 classroom training hours. Sixteen of the classroom hours makes up an introductory period before being able to provide any direct patient care. Students aren’t permitted to have contact with patients during the classroom training portion.
Once the classroom training is completed, you can apply to take the state certification exam. On testing day, you will need to bring two forms of ID, three No. 2 pencils, a watch, and an eraser. There are two parts to the exam – a written or oral section and an evaluation of skills. The CNA skills that you will be tested on can vary, as there are 22 skills but only 5 will be selected. It only takes 30 minutes to take the exam.
If you don’t pass the exam the first time, you are allowed three retakes within two years after completing the training. If the exam isn’t passed within three tries, training must be retaken.
Once you pass the certification exam, it’s time to review job prospects. Special emphasis is placed on long-term care of the elderly. This type of work is done in a nursing home or assisted living facility, as well as in a home health environment. In Texas, the average CNA salary is $27,000. This is slightly below the national average of $28,000. However, how much you get paid depends on where you work, so it’s possible to secure more than the starting average. Over time, you will exceed the national average and also have the option to advance your nursing career. Becoming a CNA is a good foundation.
As for CNA duties, there are 22 skills that you learn during training. These direct care skills include communication with the patient, logging important details, ensuring medication is being taken as directed, helping the patient dress, aiding in bathing, and ensuring the patient is fed. Every patient has a different level of capability, so it’s important to adapt to each patient’s needs. All details are reported back to a registered nurse, which proves how important CNAs are to the aging population’s quality of life.
The average CNA Salary for San Antonio is $26,940 (BLS)
During training and when you’re working, transportation is extremely important. Aside from driving your own automobile, mass transit is very popular. The city’s metropolitan transit authority provides a bus and rubber tired streetcar system called VIA Metropolitan Transit. For approximately $40 a month, you can get an unlimited pass.
The Amtrak routes are not local, as they can take you to Chicago or Los Angeles via New Orleans.
Nonetheless, there are bicycle paths that can take you along the San Antonio River, through city parks, and along the linear greenways. There are over 136 miles in bicycle lanes so you can bicycle to school or work if you prefer. If you don’t have a bike, there is a bicycle sharing program that will provide you with one. This is very good for one of the most car-dependent cities in the United States.
If you drive, you will want to allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, as the roadways are very busy in San Antonio.
There are many approved CNA training programs in San Antonio. One to look at, however, is St. Phillips College. It is one of the oldest community colleges in the U.S. There are two campuses located on the Southwest side and East side of San Antonio, which increases accessibility. The CNA course here is 108 hours, as it has a curriculum that gives students everything needed to pass the certification exam. Tuition is approximately $1,000, which excludes scrubs, books, the cost of the criminal background check, close-toe shoes, any immunizations that are needed, and a watch that has a secondhand. Each of these additional items cost an average of $500.
Some of the topics covered in the class include residents’ rights, comfort and safety, range of motion, communication skills, and basic nursing.
The course is considered affordable, so some financial aid methods might not be available. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find a scholarship that will cover the cost, otherwise, you can make payments to the college to pay for your education.
|Memorial Medical||307 W. Cypress||San Antonio||TX||78212||210-223-5521|
|The Institute of Allied Healthcare||7434 Louis Pasteur Dr, Ste 15||San Antonio||TX||78229||210-255-0392|
|East Central High School||7173 FM 1628||San Antonio||TX||78263||210-289-0483|
|Las Colinas of Westover Hills Nurse Aide Class||9738 Westover Hills Blvd||San Antonio||TX||78251||210-305-5730|
|West Avenue Nurse Aide Academy, Inc||8069 Culebra Rd||San Antonio||TX||78251||210-320-2239|
|San Antonio Residence and Rehabilitation NAT||7703 Briaridge||San Antonio||TX||78230||210-341-6121|
|Yates Health Career Institute LLC||3603 Fredericksburg Rd, Ste. 109||San Antonio||TX||78201||210-401-1830|
|Stone Oak Care Center||505 Madison Oak Dr||San Antonio||TX||78258||210-481-9000|
|St. Phillip's College||1801 Martin Luther King Dr||San Antonio||TX||78203||210-486-2720|
|Palo Alto College WTN at WETC||1400 W Villaret||San Antonio||TX||78224||210-486-3406|
|Palo Alto College-Greater Kerrville Center||1012 W. Villaret Blvd||San Antonio||TX||78237||210-486-3411|
|Blue Skies of Texas||4949 Ravenswood||San Antonio||TX||78227||210-568-5291|
|SCC at Pecan Valley CNA||3838 E. Southcross Blvd||San Antonio||TX||78222||210-581-2273|
|Senior Care Wurzbach CNA Training||8300 Wurzbach||San Antonio||TX||78229||210-617-2200|
|South Texas Veterans Healthcare System L C. ALMD||7400 Merton Minter Blvd||San Antonio||TX||78229||210-617-5109|
|Paramount Rehabilitation||5437 Eisenhauer Rd||San Antonio||TX||78218||210-646-9576|
|Savant Achievement Center, Inc||6151 N. W. Loop 410, Suite 101||San Antonio||TX||78238||210-682-0600|
|The Healthcare Institute||1822 Fredericksburg Rd||San Antonio||TX||78201||210-692-3262|
|Health Professions High School at Edison||701 Santa Monica||San Antonio||TX||78212||210-738-9720|
|Regent Care Center Oakwell Farms C N A Training P||8501 Laurens Lane||San Antonio||TX||78218||210-804-1223|
|Center for Excellence||8100 Roughrider Dr, Ste 103||San Antonio||TX||78207||210-900-0729|
|Windsor Mission Oaks||3030 S. Roosevelt Ave||San Antonio||TX||78214||210-924-8151|
|Good Careers Academy - ACE||13311 San Pedro Ave||San Antonio||TX||78216||210-924-8581|
|SCC @ Hunters Pond Rehabilitation and Healthcare||9903 Hunters Pond||San Antonio||TX||78224||210-944-0303|
|Southern Careers Institute||238 SW Military Dr, Ste 101||San Antonio||TX||78221||210-977-1000|
If you want to avoid the cost and still get the training, it is worth looking into free CNA training programs. For instance, Amada Senior Care in North San Antonio offers on-the-job training. Coronado at Stone Oak is another option. The key is to ensure that the program is approved by the state so the state certification exam can be taken. An approved program offers many doors for your future. The other option is to opt into an affordable program that will give you everything that you need and more flexible employment options.