How to Pick the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School near Florence 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 classes near Florence AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in healthcare within the Country. Although it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it's imperative that you select the best program to obtain the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics together with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk 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 complete many jobs in the Florence AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function 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 care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Florence AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they can 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 beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Florence AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to 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 that each state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Florence AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest 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. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A CNA is an important member of any Florence AZ healthcare team. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that he or she works for. CNAs also help with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with dignity and respect.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 a quality education and employment in the Florence AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Florence 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Florence AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Florence AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA School
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant school is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Florence AZ.