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Top 11 Unit Assistant Certifications

This article explores the best certifications for unit assistants to help them advance their careers and gain a competitive edge.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are important for a unit assistant in the job market because they demonstrate that the individual has the knowledge and skills required to succeed in the role. Certifications can show employers that an individual is knowledgeable and capable of performing the duties of a unit assistant, which can increase their chances of being hired. Additionally, certifications can provide a competitive edge over other applicants who do not have such credentials. Finally, certifications can provide an individual with professional development opportunities and access to resources that may help them become more proficient in their field.

The purpose of the article is to review some of the top certifications for Unit Assistants and explain how they can help to advance a unit assistant's career.

What are Unit Assistant Certifications?

Unit Assistant Certification is a professional certification program designed to help healthcare professionals working in patient-care units become more knowledgeable and skilled in providing safe and effective care for their patients. The certification focuses on the principles of patient safety, evidence-based practice, interdisciplinary communication, and customer service. It also emphasizes the importance of collaboration between nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers to ensure quality care. Through this certification program, unit assistants can gain greater confidence in their ability to provide quality patient care while increasing their knowledge of the latest standards in patient safety and evidence-based practice. This increased knowledge will enable them to better recognize potential risks or complications that may occur during a procedure or treatment, which can be critical to ensuring patient safety. Additionally, having a Unit Assistant Certification will demonstrate a commitment to professional development and enhance the reputation of any healthcare organization that employs certified unit assistants.

Pro Tip: When considering a unit assistant certification program, make sure to research the credentials and experience of the provider. Ensure that the program is accredited by an accrediting body that is recognized in your industry or field of study. Finally, take advantage of any available resources such as online courses and certifications to help you stay current on the latest technologies and trends in the field.

Related: What does a Unit Assistant do?

Top 11 Unit Assistant Certifications

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

1. Certified Medical Unit Assistant (CMUA)

A Certified Medical Unit Assistant (CMUA) is a medical professional who provides administrative and clinical support to healthcare providers in a variety of settings. CMUAs are responsible for managing patient records, scheduling appointments, maintaining inventory, and providing direct patient care. They also help with the implementation of quality assurance and safety programs.

It typically takes around 6 months to complete the training and certification process to become a CMUA. To become certified, candidates must complete an accredited program or course that includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. The cost of certification varies depending on the program chosen but can range from $500-$1,000.

In order to get certified as a CMUA, candidates must pass an exam administered by either the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC) or the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Candidates must also meet certain educational requirements such as having a high school diploma or GED equivalent, completing an accredited medical assistant program, and passing a criminal background check.

Once certified, CMUAs are required to maintain their certification by completing continuing education credits every two years in order to stay up-to-date on current standards in the field.

2. Certified Nursing Unit Assistant (CNUA)

Certified Nursing Unit Assistant (CNUA) is a certification program designed to provide healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide basic patient care in a hospital or long-term care setting. The CNUA program is an entry-level certification that provides individuals with the opportunity to become a valuable member of the healthcare team.

The CNUA program typically takes between six months and one year to complete, depending on the individual's pace and availability for coursework. It includes both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience. During the classroom portion, students learn about topics such as infection control, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, communication skills, documentation procedures, patient rights and responsibilities, medical terminology, pharmacology, and more. The clinical portion of the program allows students to gain hands-on experience in a supervised environment.

To get certified as a CNUA, individuals must complete an accredited nursing assistant training program approved by their state’s Board of Nursing. After completing the training program and passing both written and practical exams administered by their state board of nursing, they will be eligible for certification as a CNUA.

The cost of becoming certified as a CNUA varies depending on factors such as location and type of school attended; however, it typically ranges from $500-$1000 for tuition alone. Additional costs may include textbooks/supplies, uniforms/scrubs, background checks/fingerprinting fees or other related expenses.

3. Certified Clinical Unit Assistant (CCUA)

A Certified Clinical Unit Assistant (CCUA) is a healthcare professional who provides direct patient care in a clinical setting. CCUAs are typically employed in hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. They assist nurses with tasks such as taking vital signs, providing basic patient care, and helping with administrative duties.

The certification process for becoming a CCUA typically takes between six months to one year. The requirements vary by state but generally include completing an accredited program or coursework related to the field of clinical unit assisting. Additionally, many states require applicants to pass an exam administered by the National Association of Clinical Unit Assistants (NACUA).

The cost of becoming certified as a CCUA varies depending on the state and type of program chosen. Generally speaking, the cost can range from several hundred dollars to over one thousand dollars depending on the program chosen.

Overall, becoming certified as a CCUA is an excellent way for healthcare professionals to gain valuable experience in the field and increase their job prospects in the medical industry.

4. Certified Surgical Unit Assistant (CSUA)

Certified Surgical Unit Assistant (CSUA) is a certification that recognizes the knowledge and skills of individuals who assist in the care of surgical patients. The certification is offered by the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).

To become certified, an individual must have completed a formal education program in surgical technology or have at least two years of full-time experience as a surgical technologist. Candidates must also pass an exam administered by AST.

The exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions, which are divided into four main categories: patient care, instrumentation, equipment and supplies, and safety/infection control. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete.

The cost for taking the CSUA exam is $225 for AST members and $325 for non-members. After passing the exam, individuals will receive their certification within four to six weeks.

5. Certified Emergency Room Unit Assistant (CERUA)

Certified Emergency Room Unit Assistant (CERUA) is a certification program for individuals who work in the emergency room. This certification is designed to provide an additional level of knowledge and skills that are necessary to perform duties in an emergency room setting.

The CERUA program is offered by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). It takes approximately three months to complete the requirements for this certification. The program consists of a series of online courses, followed by a comprehensive exam.

To get certified, applicants must first complete the required online courses and pass the comprehensive exam with a score of at least 75%. After passing the exam, applicants must submit their application for certification along with any required documentation and fees.

The cost of the CERUA program varies depending on whether you are taking it as an individual or through your employer. If taken as an individual, it can cost up to $1,000 including course fees, exam fees, and application fees. If taken through your employer, it may be covered by your health insurance plan or provided free of charge.

6. Certified Intensive Care Unit Assistant (CICUA)

Certified Intensive Care Unit Assistant (CICUA) is a certification program designed to provide intensive care unit (ICU) staff with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their duties safely and effectively. The program is offered by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). CICUA certification is available in three levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.

It takes approximately six months to complete the CICUA program. During this time, participants must complete an online course that covers topics such as patient assessment, monitoring vital signs, medications, airway management, safety protocols, and more. After completing the coursework, candidates must pass an exam in order to receive their certification.

To get certified as a CICUA, you must first register for the program on the AACN website. You will then need to pay a fee of $125 for each level of certification you are pursuing (Basic, Intermediate or Advanced). Once registered and paid for the program, you can begin your online coursework at any time. Upon successful completion of the coursework and passing of the exam, you will be awarded your CICUA certification.

The cost of getting certified as a CICUA is $125 per level (Basic, Intermediate or Advanced).

7. Certified Operating Room Unit Assistant (CORUA)

Certified Operating Room Unit Assistant (CORUA) is a certification program administered by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence in providing safe and effective patient care in the operating room. The CORUA certification is available to individuals who have completed an accredited operating room technician program and have at least two years of experience working in an operating room setting.

To obtain the CORUA certification, individuals must complete a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, safety and infection control, equipment usage, patient assessment, surgical procedures and more. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the exam, individuals will receive their CORUA certification.

The cost for the CORUA exam varies depending on location but typically ranges from $250-$500 USD.

8. Certified Pediatric Unit Assistant (CPDA)

A Certified Pediatric Unit Assistant (CPDA) is a credential awarded to healthcare professionals who have demonstrated their knowledge and skills in providing pediatric care in the hospital setting. CPDA certification is offered by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).

To become certified, individuals must meet certain requirements, including having an active nursing license and at least one year of experience working with pediatric patients. Candidates must also complete a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as patient assessment, medication administration, infection control, and emergency procedures.

The certification process typically takes around three months to complete. To get started, applicants must first submit an application to NAPNAP along with the required documents and fees. Once approved, they will receive instructions on how to register for the exam. Once they pass the exam, they will be awarded their CPDA certification.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on the state you live in and whether or not you are a member of NAPNAP. Generally speaking, it costs between $250-$400 for non-members and $200-$300 for members.

9. Certified Geriatric Unit Assistant (CGUA)

A Certified Geriatric Unit Assistant (CGUA) is a specialized healthcare professional who provides care and support to elderly patients in a hospital or long-term care setting. CGUAs are certified through the American Association of Nurse Assistants (AANA) and must complete an accredited training program, pass a certification exam, and meet continuing education requirements to maintain their certification.

It typically takes between 4-6 months to become certified as a CGUA. To get certified, individuals must first complete an approved training program that includes classroom instruction and clinical experience. After completing the program, they must then pass the AANA’s Certified Geriatric Unit Assistant Exam.

The cost of becoming a CGUA varies depending on the state in which you live and the type of training program you choose. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $1,000-$3,000 for tuition and fees associated with the training program and $100-$200 for the certification exam fee.

10. Certified Mental Health Unit Assistant (CMHUA)

Certified Mental Health Unit Assistant (CMHUA) is a certification program offered by the National Association of Mental Health Professionals (NAMHP). It is designed to provide mental health assistants with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively support individuals with mental health issues. The CMHUA program consists of two courses: one focusing on understanding mental health issues and another focusing on providing direct care and support.

The program takes approximately six months to complete, depending on the individual's level of commitment. To become certified, students must complete both courses, pass a written exam, and demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge in a clinical setting. The cost of the program varies depending on the institution offering it; however, most programs range from $500-$1,000.

In order to get certified as a CMHUA, individuals must meet certain requirements such as having an associate’s degree or higher in psychology or related field, having at least one year of experience working in a mental health setting, and passing a criminal background check. After meeting these requirements, individuals can register for the certification course through NAMHP’s website. Upon successful completion of the course and exam, individuals will receive their certification.

11. Certified Rehabilitation Unit Assistant (CRUA).

Certified Rehabilitation Unit Assistants (CRUA) are professionals who provide specialized care and assistance to individuals with physical, mental, and/or emotional disabilities. They work in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.

The CRUA certification is offered by the American Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (AARP). It requires successful completion of an approved training program and passing of a written exam. The training program typically takes around six months to complete and includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience.

To get certified as a CRUA, you must first meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the AARP. These include having an associate’s degree or higher in a related field such as psychology or social work; two years of full-time experience in a rehabilitation setting; current CPR certification; and passing the written exam. Once all these requirements are met, you can apply for the certification online and pay the associated fee. The fee is currently $350 for members of AARP or $450 for non-members.

Once certified, CRUAs are expected to maintain their certification through continuing education credits every two years. This ensures that they stay up to date on best practices in rehabilitation services and remain knowledgeable about new developments in the field.

Do You Really Need a Unit Assistant Certificate?

Whether or not you need a Unit Assistant Certificate depends on your career goals. If you are looking to enter the field of healthcare and would like to work with patients in a clinical setting, then having this certificate is beneficial. It will demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of patient care, safety protocols, and medical terminology. This can help you stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs.

On the other hand, if you are already working in healthcare but are looking to move up in the field, then having a Unit Assistant Certificate may be less important. The certificate will show that you have some knowledge of patient care but it won’t necessarily give you an edge over more experienced workers who have been in the field longer.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a Unit Assistant Certificate depends on your individual situation and career goals. If it aligns with your plans for the future, then taking the time to get certified is likely worth it.

Related: Unit Assistant Resume Examples

FAQs About Unit Assistant Certifications

1. What is a Unit Assistant Certification?

Answer: A Unit Assistant Certification is a certification program designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills required to assist in providing care and support to patients in a hospital or healthcare setting. It covers topics such as patient assessment, vital signs monitoring, medical terminology, communication techniques and more.

2. How do I become certified as a Unit Assistant?

Answer: To become certified as a Unit Assistant, you must first complete an approved training program which typically includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. Upon completion of the program, you must then pass a national certification exam administered by the National Board for Certification of Unit Assistants (NBCUA).

3. What are the benefits of being certified as a Unit Assistant?

Answer: Being certified as a Unit Assistant provides numerous benefits including increased job security, higher wages, improved career advancement opportunities and recognition as an expert in your field. It also demonstrates that you have met rigorous standards for competency and professionalism.

4. How long does it take to get certified?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to get certified varies depending on how quickly you can complete your training program and pass the certification exam. Typically it takes between 6-12 months to complete all requirements for certification.

5. Is there any continuing education required after becoming certified?

Answer: Yes, once you are certified as a Unit Assistant you will be required to take continuing education courses in order to maintain your certification status. The number of hours required depends on your particular certification type but typically ranges from 15-30 hours per year.

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