How to Choose the Best CNA Program near El Mirage Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near El Mirage AZ. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in medical care within the Country. Although it might seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the ideal course to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a program entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the El Mirage AZ hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring 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 engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at El Mirage AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in El Mirage AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important member of any El Mirage AZ healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have selected 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 begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the El Mirage AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites 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 enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact 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 assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb 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 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant School
Picking the best certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select 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 certified nursing assistant in El Mirage AZ.