How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Drexel Heights Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Drexel Heights AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the USA. Although it might seem like a difficult task, it's essential that you select the ideal course to receive the necessary training and education. Many potential students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those issues as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare 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 perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Drexel Heights AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extended periods of time. In many cases, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Drexel Heights AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 training course is state approved. As well as 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 Training
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Drexel Heights AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain 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 accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a vital member of any Drexel Heights AZ healthcare team. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of residents or patients of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who like to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin 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 lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify 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 often not offered 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, 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 call some Drexel Heights AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Drexel Heights AZ.