How to Find the Right Nursing Assistant Program near Goodyear Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Goodyear AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the USA. Although it might seem like an overwhelming task, it's essential that you choose the best course to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a school involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics as well as a few 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 type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Goodyear AZ hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Goodyear AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Frequently, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Goodyear AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Goodyear AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Goodyear AZ area, it may assist in obtaining 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Goodyear 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 complete 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 Goodyear AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant School
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant college is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Goodyear AZ.