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Introduction to Medical Careers

Career Field: Health Care

Adult Career Pathway: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Home Health Aide (HHA), and Medical Interpreter

Type: Bridge course

Prepares Students for: Passing interviews to qualify for community-based training courses that offer scholarships; succeed in CNA courses; and pass the CNA exam

  • Pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam
  • Get a job as an entry-level Nursing Assistant or Personal Care Assistant (partnerships with MN Dept. of Human Services)
  • Enter 75-hr CNA course (at International Institute or CAPI)

Target Student Population: ELL learners, CASAS 215+ (high intermediate to advanced). Learners must be able to take notes independently and speak English clearly and confidently. Open to native English speakers if space is available.

Access Curriculum: View Materials

Course Description: Focuses primarily on the knowledge and skills needed to enter a CNA community-based training course. Content is based on sections of the CNA exam – hygiene, nutrition, bowel & bladder, infection control, data collection, restorative skills, psychosocial care, etc. Includes a unit on Home Health Aide roles and responsibilities, such as basic home safety and medication administration. Also includes a unit that introduces learners to working with medical interpreters, plus next steps to becoming a trained interpreter, interpreter skills, The Medical Interpreter Code of Ethics, and the role of the interpreter in healthcare facilities.

Duration: 3.5 hrs/wk for approximately 16 weeks = 56 instructional hours

Curriculum Description: Includes a student syllabus, two student workbooks that align with the first 6 units, and daily lesson plans with content and language objectives. Unit quizzes and some handouts are included. Also includes a set of instructional PowerPoint slides for each unit. The curriculum also includes instructions for hands-on learning (e.g. a germ experiment, stations for measuring cc’s of urinary output, and recording percentages of meals consumed).

NOTE:  The two student workbooks are available for purchase online:

Curriculum Pluses: Course scope and sequence, objectives and standards alignment give a good sense of the overall structure and organization of the course. Lesson plans are detailed and well-written. Five textbooks noted in Course Summary provide extensive learning material.

Curriculum Drawbacks: Expense of five textbooks used may be an issue.

Author: Nikki Carson, Literacy Minnesota

Published: 2010, with ongoing review and revisions


Nikki Carson
Literacy Minnesota
952-797-4117 / [email protected]