How to Choose the Right CNA School near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Lake Havasu City AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the United States. Although it may seem like a complicated endeavor, it's essential that you pick the right school to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before picking a school entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues along with various other questions that you should 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 instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Lake Havasu City AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Lake Havasu City AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 minimal amount of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial 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 tip is to check with 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA classes online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Lake Havasu City AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Lake Havasu City 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 schools 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 good reputation within the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Lake Havasu City AZ.