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How to Choose the Right Nursing Assistant Course near Glendale Arizona

Glendale AZ Nursing Assistant taking patient's vital signsOnce you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Glendale AZ. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in medical care within the USA. Even though it might seem like a challenging endeavor, it's important that you pick the best program to acquire the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to picking a school consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues 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 training and credentials that are available.

The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Glendale AZ Nursing Assistant assisting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:

  • Providing basic services to patients
  • Checking patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transporting patients to other areas

CNAs might also practice in Glendale AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extended time frames. In many cases, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Certificates

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Glendale AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make sure 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 suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Programs

Glendale AZ woman taking online CNA trainingAttending CNA classes online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Glendale AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A CNA is a critical part of any Glendale AZ healthcare team. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority 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 love to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.

Questions to Ask CNA Programs

Questions to Ask Glendale AZ CNA schoolsNow that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education and employment in the Glendale AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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 performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all 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 determine 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 assessments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Glendale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out 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 CNA Training

Glendale AZ Nursing Assistant with nursing home patientDeciding on the best certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select 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 Glendale AZ.