How to Choose the Right CNA School near Goodyear Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Goodyear AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's essential that you pick the right school 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 price of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course involves 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 addressing those topics as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start 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 facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Goodyear AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Goodyear AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that each state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Goodyear AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Goodyear AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps 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 reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 schools 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 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 favorable reputation within the Goodyear AZ healthcare 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 setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA Training
Picking the best certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Goodyear AZ.