How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Maricopa Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Maricopa AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the ideal program to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a program consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Maricopa AZ hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Maricopa AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Maricopa AZ vocational or trade schools. The length 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 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 period of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Maricopa AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital component of any Maricopa AZ healthcare organization. In fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she works for. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who love to keep busy and help patients while treating them with dignity and respect.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Maricopa AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. 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 contact some Maricopa 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Maricopa AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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 requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Maricopa AZ.