How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Lake Havasu City AZ. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a complicated task, it's imperative that you select the best course to receive the necessary training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a program involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start 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 CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty 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 services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also work 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 defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Lake Havasu City AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to 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 must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Lake Havasu City AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is an important member of any Lake Havasu City AZ medical team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that he or she works for. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their 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 perfect job for those who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 get 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 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies 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 reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, 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 colleges you are considering 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA Program
Picking the best certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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.