How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College near Goodyear Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Goodyear AZ. Once you have earned your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Although it might seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you select the best course to receive the appropriate 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 from home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a training course involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those topics 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 talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Goodyear AZ hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Goodyear AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to 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 CoursesUnlike some 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 length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make certain 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 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Goodyear AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Goodyear AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Goodyear 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 programs 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Goodyear AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best CNA Program
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant school is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Goodyear AZ.