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How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School near Kingman Arizona

Kingman AZ CNA taking patient's blood pressureOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Kingman AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a challenging undertaking, it's essential that you choose the ideal school to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that option later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a school consists of much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register 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 offered.

The Function of a Nursing Assistant

Kingman AZ Certified Nursing Assistant helping patient

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Kingman AZ hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:

  • Administering basic care to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other rooms

CNAs can also practice in Kingman AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extended time frames. Frequently, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships 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 Certificates

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Kingman AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 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 own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to 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.

Online CNA Programs

Kingman AZ student taking online CNA classesAttending CNA programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Kingman AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Should You Become a CNA?

A CNA is an important part of any Kingman AZ medical team. In fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with ADLs 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, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their feedback about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who love to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.

What to Ask CNA Degree Programs

Questions to Ask Kingman AZ CNA training programsNow that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Kingman AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Kingman AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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 too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Kingman AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Choose the Best CNA Program

Kingman AZ CNA with assisted living patientEnrolling in the right certified nursing assistant program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Kingman AZ.