How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School near Apache Junction Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Apache Junction AZ. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the Country. Even though it may seem like a daunting endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the best course to obtain the necessary training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence before picking a training course consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics together with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Apache Junction AZ hospitals, practices and other healthcare facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Apache Junction AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extended time periods. In many cases, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Apache Junction AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Apache Junction AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the Apache Junction AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Apache Junction AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Apache Junction AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Apache Junction AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Apache Junction AZ.