How to Find the Right Nursing Assistant College near Flagstaff 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 classes near Flagstaff AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the United States. Although it may seem like a challenging endeavor, it's essential that you choose the right program to receive 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 price of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a training course consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those subjects together with various other questions that you need to 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 offered.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Flagstaff AZ hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. 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 oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining 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 aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Flagstaff AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the training 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 certain that the training is state certified. 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 Training
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Flagstaff AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a vital part of any Flagstaff AZ healthcare team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the direct care of residents or patients of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. 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 work can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who love to keep busy and help patients while treating them with dignity and respect.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education and employment in the Flagstaff AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, 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 contact some Flagstaff 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Flagstaff AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Flagstaff AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose 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 certified nursing assistant in Flagstaff AZ.