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CNA Certification Training Classes Gilbert AZ


How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Gilbert Arizona

Gilbert AZ CNA taking man's vital signsOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Gilbert AZ. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the Country. Even though it may well seem like a difficult undertaking, it's imperative that you choose the right school to receive the proper training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a school requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those subjects together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.

The Job of a Nursing Assistant

Gilbert AZ CNA greeting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Gilbert AZ hospitals, practices and other health 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 work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Furnishing basic care to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs can also practice in Gilbert 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 accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extensive time frames. Frequently, they can become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Gilbert AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Programs

Gilbert AZ woman attending online CNA classesAttending CNA programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Gilbert AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Gilbert AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ 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 provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Gilbert 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Gilbert AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many 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 placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right CNA Training

Gilbert AZ Nursing Assistant with nursing home residentPicking the ideal certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Gilbert AZ.