HomeLatest NewsHospice/Palliative Care NewsCNA Hospice and Palliative Care Training and Certification

CNA Hospice and Palliative Care Training and Certification

In a December 7, 2023  McKnight’s Long-Term Care News article, Dr. Karl Steinberg, CEO of Stone Mountain Medical Associations, and certified nurse aid Telisa Green, addressed barriers to quality, end of life care during a webinar hosted by the National Association of Health Care Assistants. They acknowledged that specialty training in palliative care for CNAs is hard to come by and most of it is “on-the-job training”.

According to Steinberg, “a lot of the care that’s given in nursing homes, whether we call it that or not, is palliative care because it is team-based care that relates to not just the physical person but the quality of life. We’re all about symptom control, symptom management, and making each day the best day it can be. I hope we do that for just about all our nursing home residents.”

In addition to caring for residents, Steinberg and Green acknowledged that CNAs often deal with family members. Support for families is part of this care. It’s identifying the psychosocial and spiritual needs of the patient and family. “Part of it is ‘slow medicine’ where just holding space and being present with a patient can have immense value.” Green states “I believe in being hones and also try to make a good one-on-one relationship with the patient and the family.”

There is specialty certification available to CNAs. While only a few states require certification, this type of specialty training can increase job satisfaction, feelings of professionalism, and pay for CNAs. In addition to meeting all requirements for CNAs, special course work in basic hospice and palliative, end o life care, psychology of death and dying, caring for the geriatric patient, and caring for terminally ill patients are highly recommended.

Certification is obtained by working in hospice or palliative care for 500 hours in the most recent 12 months or 1,000 hours in the most recent 24 months under the supervision of an RN in the United States prior to applying for the exam and passing the certification exam offered by the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Credentialing Center. Training options for purchase include myCNAjobs.com; the de Souza Institute; and CAPC*. One FREE resource for coursework training is the Palliative Care Training for CNAs offered through the MJHS Institute for Innovation in Palliative Care. This training provides 9.0 CE credits and meets objectives to:

  1. Describe illness burden and the need for care
  2. Define hospice and palliative care
  3. Explain hospice and palliative care services in the long-term care setting
  4. Describe the eight domains of palliative and hospice care

*If your organization is not yet a member of CAPC, contact capc.org or the CAPC membership team at membership@capc.org or 626-599-3730 to learn how one membership provides an organization’s entire staff with full access to CAPC Training, tools, and expert resources. SDAHO members will receive a 15% discounted membership rate for their first year.

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