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How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Goodyear Arizona

Goodyear AZ Certified Nursing Assistant taking patient's blood pressureOnce you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Goodyear AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in healthcare within the Country. Although it may seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you choose the ideal program to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a training course requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those topics along 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a CNA

Goodyear AZ CNA greeting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Goodyear AZ hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:

  • Administering basic care to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other areas

CNAs might also practice in Goodyear AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Goodyear AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it's crucial 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Training

Goodyear AZ woman taking CNA online trainingEnrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Goodyear AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Why Become a CNA?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital part of any Goodyear AZ medical organization. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right profession for people who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with respect and dignity.

Questions to Ask CNA Courses

Questions to Ask Goodyear AZ CNA programsNow that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the Goodyear AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact 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 judgements 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate 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 obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Pick the Best CNA Training

Goodyear AZ Nursing Assistant with nursing home residentEnrolling in the right certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Goodyear AZ.