How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Marana 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 classes near Marana AZ. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you choose the best school to receive the necessary training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a school requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics along with various 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 instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Marana AZ hospitals, practices 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 perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Marana AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Marana AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Marana AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Marana AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Marana 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Marana AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Marana AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the right certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Marana AZ.