How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Drexel Heights Arizona
Now that 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. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may seem like a complicated task, it's important that you choose the best school to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a training course entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Drexel Heights AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, 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 help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. In many cases, they can become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained 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, resulting in 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more favored way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Drexel Heights AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education and employment in the Drexel Heights AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, 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 opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs 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 dissatisfied 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Drexel Heights AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 CNA in Drexel Heights AZ.