How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College near El Mirage Arizona
Once 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 programs near El Mirage AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in medical care within the United States. Even though it might seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you select the ideal school to receive 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 might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those subjects as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in El Mirage 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 individuals carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they often remain in the facilities for extended time frames. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at El Mirage AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 certain that the training 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in El Mirage AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education and employment in the El Mirage AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary 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 satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some El Mirage 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Program
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant college is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in El Mirage AZ.