How to Select the Best CNA Program near Glendale Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Glendale AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Though it may seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you pick the ideal course to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a school consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics together with various 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 offered.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment might 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 aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Glendale AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Glendale AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Glendale AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A CNA is a critical component of any Glendale AZ healthcare team. As a matter of fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that he or she works for. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for people who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many 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 already discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Glendale AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, 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 contact 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Glendale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant School
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Glendale AZ.