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How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Fortuna Foothills Arizona

Fortuna Foothills AZ Nursing Assistant taking patient's blood pressureOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Fortuna Foothills AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's important that you select the right school to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to picking a training course involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues as well as various 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a Nursing Assistant

Fortuna Foothills AZ Certified Nursing Assistant helping patient

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:

  • Furnishing basic care to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Transporting patients to other areas

CNAs might also practice in Fortuna Foothills 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 most people carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. In many cases, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Courses

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Fortuna Foothills AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the course 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Training

Fortuna Foothills AZ student attending CNA online coursesAttending CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Fortuna Foothills AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital part of any Fortuna Foothills AZ medical team. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of patients or residents of the medical agency or facility that she or he works for. CNAs also help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right profession for people who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.

Things to Ask CNA Schools

Questions to Ask Fortuna Foothills AZ CNA schoolsOnce you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous 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 manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.

  • 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education and employment in the Fortuna Foothills AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification requirements 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 performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online 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. Additionally, 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 Fortuna Foothills 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fortuna Foothills AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Fortuna Foothills AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best CNA Program

Fortuna Foothills AZ CNA with assisted living patientChoosing the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select 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 CNA in Fortuna Foothills AZ.