How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Apache Junction Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Apache Junction AZ. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Though it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it's important that you pick the best course to receive the necessary training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a school entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those subjects along with various other questions that you should 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 instruction and credentials that are available.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Apache Junction AZ hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they are employed. 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. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Apache Junction AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Apache Junction AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA training online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Apache Junction AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital component of any Apache Junction AZ medical organization. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and transferring 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 while treating them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Apache Junction AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish 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 verify 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 gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Apache Junction AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Apache Junction AZ.