How to Choose the Best Nursing Assistant College near Goodyear Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical 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 most rapidly increasing occupations in health care within the Country. Although it might seem like a difficult undertaking, it's essential that you pick the best course to receive the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before choosing a program entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Goodyear AZ hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight 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 duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs can 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 defined 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 types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Frequently, they may become the pipeline 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 beneficial resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Goodyear AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary 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 approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Goodyear AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with 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 only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Goodyear AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria 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 enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, 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 judgements 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Goodyear AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best CNA Program
Picking the best certified nursing assistant school is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Goodyear AZ.