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How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Glendale Arizona

Glendale AZ Certified Nursing Assistant taking patient's blood pressureOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Glendale AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Though it may well seem like an overwhelming task, it's important that you pick the best course to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a program consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those issues along with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Job of a Nursing Assistant

Glendale AZ Nursing Assistant greeting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Glendale AZ hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:

  • Providing basic care to patients
  • Checking patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs might also practice in Glendale AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Frequently, they can 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 knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Glendale AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Schools

Glendale AZ woman taking CNA online coursesAttending CNA programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Glendale AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Should You Become a CNA?

A CNA is a vital component of any Glendale AZ medical organization. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for those who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.

Questions to Ask CNA Schools

Questions to Ask Glendale AZ CNA schoolsNow that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly 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 before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.

  • 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. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education and employment in the Glendale AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Glendale 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 schools 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 good reputation within the Glendale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Program

Glendale AZ Nursing Assistant with assisted living patientPicking the right certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Glendale AZ.