How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Apache Junction Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Apache Junction AZ. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in healthcare within the Country. Although it may well seem like an overwhelming task, it's imperative that you select the right course to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a program entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Apache Junction AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Apache Junction AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Apache Junction AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Apache Junction AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital member of any Apache Junction AZ medical organization. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who like to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. 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 selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the Apache Junction AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary 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 important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with 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 judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Apache Junction AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Apache Junction AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best CNA Program
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Apache Junction AZ.