How to Pick the Best CNA Training Program near Flagstaff Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Flagstaff AZ. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you pick the ideal course to receive the necessary training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a program consists of much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those topics together with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Flagstaff AZ hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Flagstaff AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Flagstaff AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Flagstaff AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Flagstaff AZ area, it may help 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at 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 too. In addition, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 considering 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 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 contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Flagstaff AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA School
Picking the right certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Flagstaff AZ.