How to Pick the Right Nursing Assistant Program near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Catalina Foothills AZ. Once you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing positions in health care within the United States. Though it might seem like a daunting undertaking, it's important that you select the best school to receive the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a training course entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register 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 Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight 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 numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking 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 rooms
CNAs might also work in Catalina Foothills AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Catalina Foothills AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in 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 have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make sure 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 tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and acquire 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 amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical part of any Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare team. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for people who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with dignity and respect.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. 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 pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Catalina Foothills AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with 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 schools 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Catalina Foothills AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA School
Picking the right certified nursing assistant school is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Catalina Foothills AZ.