How to Select the Right Nursing Assistant College near Drexel Heights Arizona
Once 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 training programs near Drexel Heights AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding positions in healthcare within the USA. Though it might seem like a challenging endeavor, it's essential that you pick the ideal program to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to picking a program involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Drexel Heights 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 identified as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extensive time frames. Frequently, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Drexel Heights AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 required to receive 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 period of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Drexel Heights AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations 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 active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education and employment in the Drexel Heights AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Drexel Heights 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 schools 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA Program
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select 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 Drexel Heights AZ.