How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Maricopa Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Maricopa AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing positions in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a challenging task, it's important that you pick the right course to receive the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course consists of 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 issues together with various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss 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 are responsible for many jobs in the Maricopa AZ hospitals, practices and other healthcare facilities where they work. As indicated by 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. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Maricopa AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. 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 people accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extended time frames. In many cases, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Maricopa AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own 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 suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Maricopa AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have selected 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 realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education and employment in the Maricopa AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Maricopa 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 programs 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 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 good reputation within the Maricopa AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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 also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Maricopa AZ.