How to Select the Best Nursing Assistant College near Casa Grande 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 classes near Casa Grande AZ. Once you have earned your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it may well seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you select the ideal school to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence before picking a program requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues together with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties 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 instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment may 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 areas
CNAs may also work in Casa Grande 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 characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, 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 expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing 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 instruction can be received at community colleges or at Casa Grande AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Casa Grande AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical part of any Casa Grande AZ healthcare team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the direct care of residents or patients of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. 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 a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right job for people who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that 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 utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Casa Grande AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Casa Grande AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant School
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Casa Grande AZ.