How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School near Goodyear Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Goodyear AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing positions in health care within the Country. Though it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's imperative that you select the right school to acquire the proper training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a school consists of much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction 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 duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Goodyear AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Goodyear AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial 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 tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA classes online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Goodyear AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education and employment in the Goodyear AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate 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.