How to Select the Best Nursing Assistant Classes near Goodyear Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Goodyear AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in medical care within the USA. Although it may seem like a daunting endeavor, it's essential that you select the ideal course to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to picking a training course consists of far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. 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 type of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Goodyear AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extended time periods. In many cases, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Goodyear AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Goodyear AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines 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 important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Goodyear AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Goodyear AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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 requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Goodyear AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Training
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Goodyear AZ.