How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Catalina Foothills AZ. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in medical care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a daunting undertaking, it's important that you pick the best school to acquire 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 price of tuition. You may also 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 before choosing a training course consists of far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics along with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Catalina Foothills AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Catalina Foothills AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 period of training directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 education 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 other requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Catalina Foothills AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. 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). Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical component 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 patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he works for. CNAs also help with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education and employment in the Catalina Foothills AZ area, it may assist in securing 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Catalina Foothills 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 colleges 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain 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 local Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Catalina Foothills AZ.