How to Select the Right CNA Training Program near Florence 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 searching for CNA classes near Florence AZ. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a challenging task, it's essential that you choose the ideal school to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a program consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects as well as various 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Florence AZ hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Florence AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Florence AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 amount of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates 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 becoming a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Florence AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical part of any Florence AZ healthcare team. As a matter of fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she works for. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations 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 demanding, 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 profession for those who like to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Florence AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Florence 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 programs 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Florence AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Florence AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA School
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA school 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 produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Florence AZ.