How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Assistant College near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Catalina Foothills AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in health care within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a difficult endeavor, it's important that you choose the ideal course to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school entails much 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 addressing those topics as well as a few 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 type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Catalina Foothills AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Often, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Catalina Foothills AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA classes online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Catalina Foothills AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is an important component of any Catalina Foothills AZ medical team. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically strenuous, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for those who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with 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 sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Catalina Foothills AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers 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 online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Catalina Foothills 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA School
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Catalina Foothills AZ.