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CNA Certification Training Classes El Mirage AZ


How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College near El Mirage Arizona

El Mirage AZ Nursing Assistant taking man's vital signsOnce 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 El Mirage AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the USA. Although it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you pick the best school to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin 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 program and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a school requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects together with 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 type of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a CNA

El Mirage AZ Certified Nursing Assistant helping patient

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the El Mirage AZ hospitals, practices and other health facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Furnishing basic care to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other areas

CNAs might also work in El Mirage AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at El Mirage AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Classes

El Mirage AZ woman attending online CNA coursesAttending CNA training 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 part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Programs

Now that you have decided on 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 begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education and employment in the El Mirage AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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.  Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all 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 find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some El Mirage 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 schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Learn How to Choose a CNA School

Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Program

Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in El Mirage AZ.