How to Choose the Best Nursing Assistant School near Chandler Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Chandler AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the United States. Although it might seem like a complicated task, it's important that you select the best course to obtain the proper training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating 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 prior to choosing a program entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those issues together with a few 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 CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Chandler AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Chandler 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Chandler AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Chandler AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps 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 reviews 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 find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Chandler 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Chandler AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant School
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Chandler AZ.