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Top 11 Care Assistant Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for care assistants, including requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are an important part of a care assistant’s job market success. They provide proof that the care assistant has the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to perform their duties. Having certifications can give employers confidence that the care assistant is up-to-date on industry standards and best practices. It can also demonstrate to potential employers that the care assistant is committed to their career and is dedicated to providing quality care. Certifications can also be used as a way for employers to differentiate between different applicants, making it easier for them to find qualified candidates for open positions.

The purpose of this article is to review the most beneficial certifications for Care Assistants and demonstrate how these certifications can help advance their career.

What are Care Assistant Certifications?

Care assistant certification is a type of professional certification that recognizes and validates the knowledge, skills, and experience of individuals working as care assistants in healthcare settings. It is designed to ensure that those providing care for patients have the necessary training and qualifications to provide quality care. Care assistant certification can help individuals by providing them with the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to providing high-quality care. It also helps employers by enabling them to identify qualified individuals who have met certain standards of excellence in their field. By having a certified care assistant on staff, employers can be assured that they are providing safe and effective care for their patients. Certification can also help individuals advance their careers by demonstrating their abilities and making them more competitive in the job market. Ultimately, it can help both employers and employees ensure that they are providing excellent patient care.

Pro Tip: When considering a care assistant certification, research the requirements and make sure you meet them before applying. Many certifications require that you have a certain level of experience or education in order to be eligible. Additionally, be sure to review the cost of the certification program and any potential renewal fees.

Related: What does a Care Assistant do?

Top 11 Care Assistant Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Care Assistants today.

1. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who provides basic care to patients in a variety of medical settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. CNAs are responsible for assisting patients with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, eating and transferring from one place to another. They also provide basic medical care, including taking vital signs, monitoring patient health and reporting changes to the supervising nurse.

It typically takes between 6-12 weeks to complete the CNA program. The cost of the program varies depending on the school or organization providing it. Generally, the cost includes tuition fees, books and supplies. In some cases there may be additional costs for uniforms or other materials needed for the program.

To become a CNA you must first complete an approved training program that includes both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience. After completing the training program you must pass a state-approved competency exam in order to receive your certification. Once certified, CNAs must renew their certification every two years by completing continuing education courses related to their field of practice.

2. Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA)

A Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) is a trained and certified professional who provides personal care services to individuals in their homes. CHHAs typically provide assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands and transportation. They also monitor the client’s health status and report changes to the appropriate healthcare provider.

In most states, becoming a CHHA requires completing an approved training program and passing a competency evaluation exam. The length of the training program varies by state but typically takes between 75-120 hours to complete. Training programs are offered at community colleges, vocational schools and home health agencies.

The cost of becoming a CHHA varies depending on the institution offering the training program but typically ranges from $500-$1000. In addition to tuition fees there may be additional costs for textbooks, supplies or other materials needed for the course.

Once you have completed the training program and passed the competency evaluation exam you will receive your certification as a CHHA from your state’s licensing board or other regulatory agency. After receiving certification you must then pass a background check before being allowed to work in this field.

3. Certified Medication Technician (CMT)

A Certified Medication Technician (CMT) is a healthcare professional who is certified to administer medications and provide related care to patients in a variety of settings. CMTs are trained in the safe administration of oral, topical, injectable, and other forms of medication. They also provide patient education on proper medication use and potential side effects.

In order to become a Certified Medication Technician, you must complete a state-approved training program that includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. The length of the program can vary depending on the state but generally takes between 8-12 weeks to complete.

Once you have completed your training program, you will need to pass an exam in order to receive your CMT certification. This exam is administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) and costs $115 for members or $135 for non-members. After passing the exam, you will be issued your CMT certification which is valid for two years from the date it was issued.

4. Certified Home Care Aide (CHCA)

Certified Home Care Aide (CHCA) is a certification program for individuals who are interested in providing personal care services to elderly, disabled, and other individuals in need of assistance in their home. This certification program is administered by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). The CHCA certification is designed to demonstrate that an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality home care services.

The CHCA certification requires applicants to complete a training program that consists of both classroom instruction and hands-on experience. The training program typically takes around 150 hours to complete, depending on the provider. The coursework covers topics such as infection control, nutrition, safety, communication skills, and mental health issues. After completing the training program, applicants must take an exam administered by NAHC in order to become certified.

The cost of obtaining the CHCA certification varies depending on the provider offering the training program. Generally speaking, it can range from $500-$1,000 or more for tuition and materials. In addition to this cost, there may be additional fees associated with taking the exam such as registration fees or proctoring fees.

Overall, becoming a Certified Home Care Aide (CHCA) is an excellent way for individuals interested in providing personal care services to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in this field. It can take up to 150 hours of classroom instruction and hands-on experience to obtain this certification along with additional costs associated with taking the exam.

5. Certified Personal Care Aide (CPCA)

Certified Personal Care Aide (CPCA) is a certification program for individuals who provide personal care services to individuals in their homes or in other residential settings. CPCA certification is designed to ensure that caregivers have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to provide safe and effective care.

The program consists of an online course that covers topics such as infection control, communication, safety, nutrition and more. The course takes approximately 10-12 hours to complete and can be completed at your own pace. Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion from the National Association of Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).

To become certified as a CPCA, you must first complete the online course and then pass an exam administered by NAHC. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics discussed in the course. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your CPCA certification card.

The cost of becoming certified as a CPCA varies depending on where you take the training course and how much time it takes to complete it. Generally speaking, courses range from $50-$200 USD depending on the provider. In addition to the cost of taking the training course, there is also an examination fee which is typically around $100 USD.

6. Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA)

Geriatric Nursing Assistants (GNAs) provide direct care to elderly patients in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care settings. They help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding and transferring patients. They also provide emotional support to their patients and help them with recreational activities.

It typically takes about two months to complete a Geriatric Nursing Assistant program. Most programs consist of classroom instruction and clinical experience in a long-term care setting. To become a GNA, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and pass the state certification exam.

The cost of a Geriatric Nursing Assistant program can vary depending on the school or organization offering it. Generally, tuition for the program ranges from $500-$1,500. Additional expenses may include books, uniforms, background checks and licensing fees.

7. Direct Support Professional (DSP)

Direct Support Professional (DSP) is a professional that provides support to individuals with disabilities, mental health issues, or other special needs. This can include providing assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation; helping with communication and mobility; providing transportation; and assisting with recreational activities. DSPs also provide emotional support and guidance to help individuals reach their goals.

There is no specific length of time required to become a DSP, as the requirements vary by state and employer. Generally speaking, most employers require at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Some employers may also require additional training or certification in order to qualify for certain roles.

To become a DSP, you will need to find an employer who is willing to hire you for the position. You can search online job boards for open positions or contact local disability service providers directly. Once you have found an employer who is willing to hire you, they will provide information on what qualifications are needed and how much experience is required for the role.

The cost of becoming a DSP varies depending on the type of training or certification required by the employer. Some employers may offer free training while others may require payment for courses or certifications. Additionally, some states may require licensing fees in order to work as a DSP in that particular state.

8. Patient Care Technician (PCT)

Patient Care Technician (PCT) is a healthcare profession that provides basic patient care services, such as taking vital signs, assisting with activities of daily living, and providing emotional support. PCTs work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or other licensed healthcare professional.

It typically takes about one year to complete the required training for a Patient Care Technician certificate. The requirements vary by state, but generally include completing an accredited program and passing an exam. Depending on the program, courses may include anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, nutrition, pharmacology, infection control and patient safety.

To become a PCT you must first complete an accredited program at an approved school or college. These programs are offered in both online and classroom formats. You can find accredited programs by searching online or checking with your local community college or technical school.

The cost of becoming a PCT varies depending on the program you choose and whether it is online or in-person. Generally speaking, tuition for an accredited program ranges from $1,500-$4,000. Additional costs may include textbooks, supplies and registration fees.

9. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is a healthcare professional who provides pre-hospital care to patients in need of medical attention. EMTs are the first responders to medical emergencies and provide basic life support, such as CPR, splinting, bandaging, and administering medications. They also transport patients to hospitals or other medical facilities for further treatment.

It typically takes between 6 months and 2 years to become an EMT depending on the state you live in and the type of certification you choose. To become an EMT, you must complete a state-approved training program that includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. After completing your training program, you must pass a national certification exam administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

The cost of becoming an EMT can vary widely depending on the type of training program you choose and where you live. Most programs range from $1,000-$3,000 for tuition alone; additional costs may include textbooks, uniforms, and equipment.

10. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is a certification program that provides healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage a patient’s cardiac arrest or other life-threatening medical emergencies. The program is designed to improve outcomes for patients who experience cardiac arrest, stroke, or other life-threatening medical events. ACLS focuses on early recognition of cardiac arrest and prompt initiation of resuscitation efforts.

The ACLS course typically takes two days to complete, depending on the provider. It includes both classroom instruction and hands-on practice in simulated clinical scenarios. During the course, participants learn about advanced resuscitative techniques such as airway management, defibrillation, and pharmacological interventions.

To get certified in ACLS, you must take an approved course from an accredited provider. The American Heart Association (AHA) is the most well-known provider of ACLS courses. Other providers include the American Red Cross, National Healthcareer Association (NHA), and American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI).

The cost of an ACLS course varies depending on the provider and location but generally ranges from $200-$400 USD.

11. Basic Life Support (BLS)

Basic Life Support (BLS) is a set of emergency medical techniques used to provide immediate care for a person who is suffering from cardiac arrest, stroke, or other life-threatening medical conditions. BLS includes chest compressions, rescue breaths, and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). It is important to note that BLS does not replace advanced life support (ALS) which requires specialized training.

BLS certification typically takes about 4-6 hours to complete and can be obtained through various organizations such as the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. The cost of BLS certification varies depending on the organization providing it, but generally ranges from $50-$100.

The goal of BLS is to provide immediate assistance to someone in need until more advanced medical help arrives. It is important for anyone who may come into contact with people in need of medical attention to be certified in Basic Life Support so they are prepared to act quickly and effectively in an emergency situation.

Do You Really Need a Care Assistant Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on the type of care assistant job you are seeking. If you are applying for a job that requires certification, then yes, you will need a care assistant certificate. However, if the job you are applying for does not require certification, then it may not be necessary.

Having a care assistant certificate can help demonstrate your knowledge and skills related to providing care to others. It can also give potential employers an indication of your commitment to the field of caregiving. A certificate can provide reassurance that you have completed specific training and have achieved the necessary qualifications in order to provide quality care services.

Additionally, having a certificate may open up more employment opportunities for you as many employers prefer candidates who have obtained formal qualifications. With a certificate, employers know that your knowledge and skills meet their standards which gives them peace of mind when hiring you for the position.

In conclusion, whether or not you need a care assistant certificate depends on the type of job you are seeking. If certification is required for the role, then having one is essential; however, if it is not required then it may not be necessary.

Related: Care Assistant Resume Examples

FAQs About Care Assistant Certifications

1. What is a Care Assistant Certification?

Answer: A Care Assistant Certification is an official recognition of a person’s ability to provide care services to elderly and disabled individuals. It demonstrates that the individual has the necessary skills and knowledge to provide safe, effective and compassionate care.

2. How do I obtain a Care Assistant Certification?

Answer: To obtain a Care Assistant Certification, you must complete an approved training program or educational program related to the field of caregiving. Depending on your state, you may also need to pass a certification exam in order to obtain your certification.

3. What are the benefits of having a Care Assistant Certification?

Answer: Having a Care Assistant Certification can help you stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs in the health care industry. It is also proof that you have acquired specific knowledge and skills related to providing effective and safe care for elderly and disabled individuals.

4. Is there an expiration date for my Care Assistant Certification?

Answer: Yes, most states require that your certification be renewed every two years in order to remain valid. You will need to complete additional education or training courses in order to renew your certification.

5. Are there any online programs available for obtaining a Care Assistant Certification?

Answer: Yes, there are several online programs available for obtaining a Care Assistant Certification. These programs typically include online courses covering topics such as nutrition, infection control and safety protocols, communication with clients and family members, as well as other topics related to providing quality care services.