How to Choose the Best Nursing Assistant Training Program near Casa Grande Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Casa Grande AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Even though it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it's essential that you select the ideal school to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a program requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those subjects along with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision 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 duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Casa Grande 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 identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Casa Grande AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Casa Grande AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a vital component of any Casa Grande AZ healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their feedback about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically strenuous, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right job for people who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines 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 important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education and employment in the Casa Grande AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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. Some 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 preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Casa Grande AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs 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 dissatisfied 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 Casa Grande AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Picking the right certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Casa Grande AZ.