How to Choose the Right Nursing Assistant School near Casa Grande Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Casa Grande AZ. Once you have earned your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Though it may seem like a challenging undertaking, it's important that you choose the ideal course to acquire the proper training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a training course requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those topics along with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 offered.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Casa Grande AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Casa Grande AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Casa Grande AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the Casa Grande AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Casa Grande 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 looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Casa Grande AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA Program
Picking the best certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Casa Grande AZ.