How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Casa Grande Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Casa Grande AZ. Once you have earned your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the United States. Although it may seem like a challenging endeavor, it's essential that you select the right course to acquire the proper training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a school involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those topics along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Casa Grande AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Casa Grande AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 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 instruction mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Schools
Enrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Casa Grande AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating 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 supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities 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 busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start 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 important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education and employment in the Casa Grande AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 programs you are looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Casa Grande AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant School
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Casa Grande AZ.