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How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Kingman Arizona

Kingman AZ Certified Nursing Assistant taking man's blood pressureNow that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Kingman AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you choose the best program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a program consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Job of a Nursing Assistant

Kingman AZ Nursing Assistant assisting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Kingman AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:

  • Providing basic care to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs can also work in Kingman AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. 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 the majority of people carry out daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Certificates

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Kingman AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 can be other prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Training

Kingman AZ student attending CNA online trainingEnrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Kingman AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Schools

Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education and employment in the Kingman AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Kingman 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Kingman AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Kingman AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Choose the Best CNA Program

Kingman AZ Nursing Assistant with assisted living patientDeciding on the right certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you choose 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 create 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Kingman AZ.