How to Pick the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College near Chandler Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Chandler AZ. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Though it may well seem like a challenging task, it's imperative that you choose the best course to receive the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus 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 can include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Chandler AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Chandler AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and attain 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 certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding 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 lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited 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.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Chandler AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate 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 attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA Training
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Chandler AZ.