How to Find the Best Nursing Assistant School near Maricopa Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Maricopa AZ. Once you have earned your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the United States. Though it might seem like an overwhelming task, it's important that you select the right school to acquire the proper training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that option later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a training course involves much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those topics as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Maricopa AZ hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because 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 function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Maricopa AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Frequently, they can become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Maricopa AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Maricopa AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with 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.
Why Become a CNA?
A CNA is a critical member of any Maricopa AZ medical organization. In 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 she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely 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 lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who love to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Maricopa AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, 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 call some Maricopa AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools 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 displeased 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 contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant School
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Maricopa AZ.