Seattle is a West Coast seaport city and the King County seat. The city is home to nearly 800,000 people, but the metro area has a population of almost 4 million. It is one of the top 5 fastest-growing cities in the U.S., but it also has an aging population with over 12 percent of the population being aged 65 and over. That equates to nearly 74,000 people that currently do or will need senior care services in some form. That is why becoming a CNA in Seattle can be a worthwhile career. There are 14 hospitals and more than 50 nursing homes in and around the city that have a combined 10,000 beds. This presents many job opportunities for CNAs and, fortunately, there are eight state-approved CNA training programs that can make this career goal a reality. CNAs can also work in home health care environments and hospice centers. The type of care that certified nursing assistants provide is very important for a person’s overall care plan no matter the facility in which that care is provided.
To become a CNA in Seattle, you must first find a state-approved program that offers the required minimum of 85 training hours. Of the required hours, seven of them are devoted to HIV/AIDS training. The remainder of the hours is split between 50 hours of clinical training and 28 more hours of classroom training. Everything that is learned will prepare you to take the state exam that, when passed, will allow you to practice as a CNA in a number of healthcare environments.
The requirements to enter into a training program include being at least 18 years of age, completing a background check and passing it, proof of immunizations, and the ability to read at an eighth-grade level. Once in class, you will learn about daily activities (grooming, hygiene, nutrition, feeding, etc.), infection control, recording of vital signs, helping patients with self-care, patient rights, ethics, personal safety, and communication with patients and other health care workers, and meeting the emotional and physical needs of patients. Of course, the subjects that will be covered go beyond this, depending on the chosen CNA training program. However, the state-required subjects will be covered no matter which state-approved program you choose. Anything covered beyond that is at the discretion of the training program coordinators.
Once you take the certification exam and pass it, it’s time to find a job. With an aging population and so many facilities in the city that are in need of CNAs, you’re bound to find something in a nursing home, with a home health company, in a hospital, or with a hospice center. Currently, a CNA in Seattle makes over $33,000 per year, which is above the national average of $28,000 per year. More than 17,000 CNAs are needed in the city to handle health care demands.
As for the exact duties that a CNA performs once on the job, they include helping patients bathe, eat, and dress. Vitals must be taken and communications with patients should be recorded and reported to the registered nurse in charge. It’s important to make sure the mental and physical condition of the patient is constantly communicated so certain accommodations can be made. In a nursing home environment, tasks can include helping prevent bedsores, ensuring patients receive their medications and providing assistance with daily activities. In a home health setting, the patient may need transport to and from appointments and meals prepared. The exact description depends on where patient care is taking place.
The average CNA Salary in Seattle is $33,210 (BLS)
Once you have a job as a CNA, it’s good to evaluate your transportation options. You can drive your own vehicle to and from work or you can opt for public transportation. The bus system is operated by King County Metro. It runs the city and a number of stops throughout the county. There are also the South Lake Union Streetcar and First Hill Streetcar Lines. Not many cities in the U.S. still have trolleybuses like Seattle. You can also choose the express bus service provided by Sound Transit. The two Sounder commuter rail lines run between downtown and the suburbs. If you need to commute to and from the Vashon Islands, Bainbridge, Southworth, or Bremerton, Washington State Ferries runs the largest ferry network in the U.S.
People that live within walking distance can easily walk to and from work, as Seattle is the sixth most walkable city in the country. Nonetheless, approximately 20 percent of the population uses mass transit, signaling a shift from people driving their own cars. There are only two main roadways that move through the city uninterrupted.
To get started on this career path, you will need to find the right Seattle CNA training program for you. One of the best programs in the area is at Seattle Central College. The program is completed in a single quarter, which prepares students to work in a number of health care settings. The skills that are learned include medical terminology, basic nursing skills, body systems, taking vital signs, communication skills, patient and resident rights, infection control, safety and emergency procedures, and personal care.
To apply, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED. Placement testing is required and the results must show that you are eligible for ENGL 098 and MATH 087, a background check must be passed, and you are required to attend an NA-C information session. It’s important to complete your application as soon as possible because they are accepted on a first-come basis. After you’re accepted, you are required to have a physical exam, a TB test, and prove that you’ve had all of your vaccinations. It’s a five-step enrollment process.
You will need to figure out how to pay for tuition. You can get a grant, spread out the college cost through an automatic payment plan, or get a student loan. There are different ways to pay for your tuition and class supplies. The actual cost of the course can change over time, so it is best to check the current cost of a quarter when enrolling.
|North Seattle Community College||9600 College Way North||Seattle||WA||98103||206-934-6067|
|Seattle Central Community College||1200 12th Ave S||Seattle||WA||98144||206-934-4347|
|South Seattle Community College||6000 - 16th Avenue SW||Seattle||WA||98106||206-934-5310|
|Seattle Skills Center- Medical Careers||3000 California Ave Sw Room #230||Seattle||WA||98106||206-252-0730|
|Avamere Queen Anne Healthcare||2717 Dexter Ave N||Seattle||WA||98109||206-284-7012|
|Kline Galland Academy||7500 Seward Park Avenue South||Seattle||WA||98118||206-725-8800|
|American Healthcare CNA School||6951 Martin Luther King Jr Way S, Suite 201||Seattle||WA||98118||206-838-4094|
If you want to train to be a CNA in Seattle for free, there are two nursing homes that offer on-the-job training. They are Avamere Queen Anne Healthcare and Kline Galland Academy. You work off your tuition and learn the necessary skills to sit for the certification exam. The programs offered by these nursing homes are state-approved.
If you want to go to a college to train, you can apply for grants that will completely pay for your tuition. Veterans can look into veterans services and how much tuition they will pay. Sometimes, classes are completely paid for. You can even check into scholarships that will pay all or part of your tuition. Companies like Johnson & Johnson offer nursing scholarships. You can also check with the Department of Health and Human Services, the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education, the Gates Millennium Scholarship, or the Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association. There is bound to be an opportunity that will greatly reduce or eliminate your costs.