Pennsylvania

Pa.The deadline for the Certified Nursing Assistant Test is approaching

Harrisburg — Thousands of jobs in health care and senior care facilities in Pennsylvania are at risk if state-owned companies are unable to give certified nursing assistant exams to their workers before the impending deadline. prize.

State legislators are familiar with the crisis, After digging into the contractor Credentia, and the state agency that oversees the contract at the Senate Commission hearing last month.

Future Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, had to wait months, travel hundreds of miles, and face repeated cancellations in the process of taking the required exams that could only be scheduled at Credentia.

“It’s time to get them to fulfill their contract,” Senator Michele Brooks, a Republican in Mercer County, said in a hearing. She also said it might be appropriate to see if the penalties are justified.

Growling is in the midst of a nursing home staffing crisis. The federal government created a temporary nursing assistant position at the beginning of the pandemic to address staff shortages, but that position will be abolished on October 6.

If TNAs are unable to take the CNA exam by that date, their work is at risk. In a hearing, Zack Schaumburg, president of the Pennsylvania Healthcare Association, said 5,000 to 10,000 TNAs were still waiting to take the exam.

Credentia and the Department of Health and Human Services said they would try to improve the availability of tests. But lawmakers described state agencies struggling to keep Credentia in their agreement — and it’s unclear for months which state agency actually signed the company. did.

The biggest barrier to the CNA test is that there aren’t enough facilities available to carry out the test and there aren’t enough nurses to oversee the test, hearing witnesses said. When the pandemic began, the CNA test was suspended for several months, and when Credentia resumed the test, it lost the inspector general and the test site.

According to PHCA, since the hearing, Credentia has added two test sites and seven employees to oversee the test.

In a telephone interview on Friday, Linda Walker, CNA class coordinator of the Central Susquehanna Middle Unit, has been critical of Credentia’s service since the hearing.

Walker said he had failed to register the CSIU building with Ccredentia as a CNA test site since April.

Similar to the testimony given at the hearing, Walker said students would have to wait a few months for the CNA exam on a regular basis and travel to the exam site for at least two hours. However, she said the CSIU Nursing Building can perform CNA tests three times a week.

Walker said some of her students gave up working in healthcare because they were so discouraged.

“They may be single mothers, they may not be able to get babysitters, they may have to go to work. They have all these barriers,” she said. Told. “Ask them to drive for an hour and a half to take this very stressful test. And they get there. It’s 7am and they go out on the road from 5am. And it was canceled. “

According to Walker, Credentia failed to reply to emails or answer phone calls within the time limit set by the contract.

State officials said in a statement: “The Wolf administration is working closely with Credentia, facilities and training personnel, and TNA to provide appropriate testing opportunities for Temporary Nurse Aids (TNAs) wishing to be listed in the Nurse Aid Registry. October 2022 From the 6th onwards, to facilitate collaboration between these entities. “

The department did not specify what action Credentia would take to help meet the demands of the test. In a statement, they said their efforts to ensure that facilities hiring TNA are aware of the steps involved in the TNA route and the resources available to support TNA in preparation for the exam. We have focused on increasing employer involvement for this. ” “”

Walker said he didn’t know what the government’s efforts to support Credentia would entail. She said they were mostly “paying” when her organization interacted with the Department of Health and Human Services or the Ministry of Education.

At a hearing, Brooks asked the Department of Health and Human Services where the contract was and said it was said to be in the Ministry of Education.

Written testimony of the three divisions at the hearing stated that the human services division holds the contract. The Ministry of Health said in an email that it had a contract.

Christina Baker is an intern at the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents Association.

Pa.The deadline for the Certified Nursing Assistant Test is approaching

Source link Pa.The deadline for the Certified Nursing Assistant Test is approaching

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