How to Choose the Best Nursing Assistant Classes near Flagstaff Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Flagstaff AZ. Once you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the Country. Even though it may well seem like a difficult task, it's important that you pick the best course to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a program involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with several 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Flagstaff AZ hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Flagstaff AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Flagstaff AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the 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 sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Flagstaff AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical component of any Flagstaff AZ medical organization. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of patients or residents of the healthcare agency or facility that she or he is employed by. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their feedback about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who like to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. 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 lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education and employment in the Flagstaff 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Flagstaff 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Flagstaff AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Flagstaff AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Flagstaff AZ.