How to Pick the Right Nursing Assistant School 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 training classes near Flagstaff AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the United States. Though it may seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you choose the right program to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering 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 completing your due diligence prior to choosing a school involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Flagstaff AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Flagstaff AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Flagstaff AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA classes online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Flagstaff AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital part of any Flagstaff AZ healthcare organization. In fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who love to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things 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 see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education and employment in the Flagstaff AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at 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. In addition, contact 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 opinions 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Flagstaff AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant school is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Flagstaff AZ.