How to Enroll In the Right CNA Program 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 searching for CNA training classes near Lake Havasu City AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the United States. Although it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you pick the best program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most essential 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 program and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before picking a training course entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those subjects together with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 available.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather 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 aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Lake Havasu City AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Frequently, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Lake Havasu City AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 mandated 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 each state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Lake Havasu City AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. 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 household obligations have left you with limited 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 Schools
Now that 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 choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, 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 opinions 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA School
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in 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 develop a shortlist of schools to choose 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 certified nursing assistant in Lake Havasu City AZ.