How to Choose the Right Nursing Assistant School 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 finding CNA training classes near Casa Grande AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in medical care within the United States. Although it might seem like a difficult undertaking, it's essential that you select the ideal school to receive the proper training and education. A number of future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course involves 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 subjects along with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 offered.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Casa Grande AZ hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Casa Grande AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Casa Grande AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally 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 approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA classes online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Casa Grande AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Casa Grande AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 superb reputation within the Casa Grande AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA School
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you pick a CNA school 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Casa Grande AZ.