How to Find the Best CNA Training Program near Drexel Heights Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Drexel Heights AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the USA. Even though it might seem like a difficult task, it's important that you pick the right school to acquire the necessary 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 considering 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 program entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects together with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Drexel Heights AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain 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 can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Drexel Heights AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Drexel Heights AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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 completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 colleges 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose 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 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 desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Drexel Heights AZ.