How to Enroll In the Right CNA Course near El Mirage 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 training classes near El Mirage AZ. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Although it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's essential that you pick the right school to receive the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a program requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the El Mirage AZ hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in El Mirage AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn 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, 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 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 each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA training online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in El Mirage AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. 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 pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the El Mirage AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some El Mirage 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the El Mirage AZ healthcare 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 environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best CNA Program
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant program is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in El Mirage AZ.