How to Select the Best CNA Program near Gilbert Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Gilbert AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the USA. Though it might seem like a complicated undertaking, it's imperative that you select the right school to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a training course involves much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those topics as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Gilbert AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic care 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
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Gilbert 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 defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Gilbert AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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 sure that the education 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 prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Gilbert AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Gilbert AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Gilbert AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Gilbert AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Gilbert AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant School
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant college is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Gilbert AZ.