How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Drexel Heights Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter 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. After you have earned your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Even though it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's essential that you select the ideal program to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before choosing a school entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those subjects as well as several 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Drexel Heights AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Often, they can 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 expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Drexel Heights AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. 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.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA training online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Drexel Heights AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Drexel Heights AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check 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 assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are looking at 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant School
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Drexel Heights AZ.