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How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Marana Arizona

Marana AZ Certified Nursing Assistant taking man's vital signsNow 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 Marana AZ. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in health care within the United States. Even though it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it's essential that you pick the ideal program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a school consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects along with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.

The Role of a CNA

Marana AZ Certified Nursing Assistant assisting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Marana AZ hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Administering basic care to patients
  • Reading patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Transporting patients to other rooms

CNAs might also work in Marana AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Marana AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in 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 have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Training

Marana AZ student taking CNA online coursesAttending CNA training online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Marana AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital part of any Marana AZ medical team. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback 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 strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who love to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.

What to Ask CNA Programs

Questions to Ask Marana AZ CNA training programsOnce you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Marana AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Marana 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 schools 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Marana AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Marana AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Program

Marana AZ CNA with assisted living patientChoosing the ideal certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Marana AZ.