How to Choose the Best CNA Classes near Florence Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Florence AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the Country. Though it may seem like a complicated endeavor, it's important that you select the best program to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most fundamental 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 at home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to picking a school consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects together with various other questions that you should 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 Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Florence AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may 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 identified as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Florence AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 may be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Florence AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical member of any Florence AZ healthcare team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the medical 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 safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, 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 lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their 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 right profession for people who like to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly 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 choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education and employment in the Florence AZ area, it may help in acquiring 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet 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. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out 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 assessments 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Florence AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Florence AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Florence AZ.