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How to Find the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Chandler Arizona

Chandler AZ CNA taking patient's blood pressureNow that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Chandler AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Though it may well seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you select the right program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be pondering 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 prior to deciding on a school involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Chandler AZ Nursing Assistant assisting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Chandler AZ hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, 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 helping patients with meals
  • Transporting patients to other rooms

CNAs might also practice in Chandler 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 defined as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Chandler AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Programs

Chandler AZ student attending online CNA classesAttending CNA classes online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Chandler AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Training Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure 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 first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Chandler AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Chandler 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 considering 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 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 favorable reputation within the Chandler AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn How to Choose a CNA School

Enroll in the Right CNA Training

Picking the best certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in 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 health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick 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 Chandler AZ.