How to Choose the Best CNA Training Program near El Mirage Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near El Mirage AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in healthcare within the USA. Though it may well seem like a difficult undertaking, it's imperative that you choose the right school to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be pondering 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 prior to choosing a training course involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type 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, practices and other healthcare 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 perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic services 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
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs might also work 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 people perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extensive time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain 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 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 minimum period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA classes online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in El Mirage AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. 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 school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very 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.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education and employment in the El Mirage AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out 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 judgements 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 finish 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 contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant college is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in El Mirage AZ.