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How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School near Goodyear Arizona

Goodyear AZ CNA 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 classes near Goodyear AZ. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in medical care within the Country. Even though it may well seem like a difficult endeavor, it's essential that you select the right course to obtain the proper training and education. A number of future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be debating 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 completing your due diligence prior to picking a school requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those topics together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.

The Job of a CNA

Goodyear AZ CNA helping man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:

  • Furnishing basic services to patients
  • Checking patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Moving patients to other areas

CNAs can also work in Goodyear AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Goodyear AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in 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 must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. 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 requirements as well.

Online CNA Programs

Goodyear AZ woman taking online CNA coursesAttending CNA programs online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Goodyear 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 conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly 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 to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Goodyear AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find 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 opinions 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative 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 assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Training

Goodyear AZ CNA with nursing home patientSelecting the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Goodyear AZ.