How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Lake Havasu City AZ. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing positions in medical care within the Country. Though it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you pick the ideal program to obtain the proper training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a training course involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Lake Havasu City 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 most individuals carry out daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they often remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Frequently, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Lake Havasu City AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Lake Havasu City AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A CNA is an important component of any Lake Havasu City AZ medical organization. In fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he works for. CNAs also assist with daily activities 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, most often an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with dignity and respect.
Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, it may help in acquiring 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Lake Havasu City 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 setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant program is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Lake Havasu City AZ.