How to Choose the Right 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 finding CNA training classes near Gilbert AZ. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Even though it might seem like a challenging task, it's important that you select the ideal course to obtain the necessary training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to picking a training course entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects as well as several 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 offered.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Gilbert AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Gilbert AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extensive time frames. Frequently, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Gilbert AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 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 minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to 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.
CNA Online Programs
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Gilbert AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Gilbert AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, 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 call 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 schools you are considering 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 dissatisfied 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 Gilbert AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Gilbert AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant School
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Gilbert AZ.