How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Assistant Training Program near Flagstaff Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Flagstaff AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the United States. Although it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you select the right course to receive the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering 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 doing your due diligence before choosing a school entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Flagstaff AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning 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 centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people accomplish 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 typically remain in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they may end up being the pipeline 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 valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Flagstaff AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Flagstaff AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Flagstaff AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, 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 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 colleges 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 favorable reputation within the Flagstaff AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Flagstaff AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant college is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select 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 Flagstaff AZ.