How to Find the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Chandler Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Chandler AZ. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a challenging undertaking, it's important that you choose the right school to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most essential 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 program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before picking a training course entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. 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 begin 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 Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. As indicated by 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 supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Chandler 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 identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Chandler AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Chandler AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to 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 economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the Chandler AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified 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 meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 schools 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Chandler AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local Chandler AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Chandler AZ.