How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Goodyear Arizona
Once 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 classes near Goodyear AZ. Once you have achieved your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the Country. Though it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you pick the best school to receive the proper training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a program requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those issues as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Goodyear AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight 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 responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Goodyear 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 identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Goodyear AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its own requirements. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with 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 Training
Enrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Goodyear AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Goodyear AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 assessments 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 finish 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Goodyear AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask 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 Right CNA School
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Goodyear AZ.