How to Select 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 start the process of searching for CNA training programs near El Mirage AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may seem like a daunting task, it's essential that you pick the ideal course to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects along with various other questions that you should 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 instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the El Mirage AZ hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in El Mirage AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Frequently, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained 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, 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 have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the training course is state certified. 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.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in El Mirage AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward 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.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the El Mirage AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs 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 superb reputation within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant School
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important 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 choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in El Mirage AZ.