How to Pick the Right Nursing Assistant Classes near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Once 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 training programs near Lake Havasu City AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Though it may seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you select the right course to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may 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 aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Lake Havasu City AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Lake Havasu City 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 have 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 amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Lake Havasu City AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household responsibilities 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 hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential 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 price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ 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 delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Lake Havasu City 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Lake Havasu City 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 environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA School
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant program is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you pick 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 develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Lake Havasu City AZ.