How to Find the Best CNA Training Program near Flagstaff Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Flagstaff AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the USA. Though it may well seem like an overwhelming task, it's important that you pick the ideal program to obtain the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects along with several 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 available.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Flagstaff AZ hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Flagstaff AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extensive time frames. Often, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Flagstaff AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Flagstaff AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like 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 program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Flagstaff AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check 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 opinions 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Flagstaff AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Flagstaff AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA School
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant college is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Flagstaff AZ.