How to Choose the Right Nursing Assistant College 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 classes near Casa Grande AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the Country. Although it may seem like a challenging undertaking, it's imperative that you select the right program to receive the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price 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 alternative later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a school requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects along with a few other questions that you need to 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 training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main 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:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Casa Grande AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Casa Grande AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is an important member of any Casa Grande AZ healthcare team. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of patients or residents of the medical agency or facility that she or he works for. CNAs also help with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. 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 lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive 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 provided 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 completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out 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 judgements 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Casa Grande AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Casa Grande AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA School
Picking the best certified nursing assistant school is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Casa Grande AZ.