How to Select the Best CNA Program near Glendale Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Glendale AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the United States. Though it may seem like a complicated endeavor, it's important that you choose the right school to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a program entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you register 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 Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking 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 can also work in Glendale AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without help, including 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 prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Glendale AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Glendale AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a critical component of any Glendale AZ healthcare team. In fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work 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 love to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the Glendale AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments 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 check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Glendale 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 colleges you are looking at 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Glendale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Program
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Glendale AZ.