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

Kingman AZ CNA taking man's blood pressureNow that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Kingman AZ. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Although it may well seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's important that you choose the best program to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of potential students start 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 program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a school entails 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 covering those topics as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.

The Role of a Nursing Assistant

Kingman AZ CNA assisting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Kingman AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:

  • Administering basic services 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
  • Conveying patients to other rooms

CNAs might also practice in Kingman 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 individuals perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Certificates

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Kingman AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Programs

Kingman AZ student attending CNA online coursesAttending CNA training online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Kingman AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital member of any Kingman AZ healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that she or he works for. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with respect and dignity.

Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes

Questions to Ask Kingman AZ CNA programsOnce you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start 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 lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.

  • 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Kingman AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 Kingman 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Kingman AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local Kingman AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best CNA School

Kingman AZ CNA with nursing home patientEnrolling in the best certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Kingman AZ.