How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course 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 training classes near Maricopa AZ. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a complicated task, it's important that you pick the ideal program to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many future students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects along with several other questions that you need to 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Maricopa AZ hospitals, practices and other healthcare 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 work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Maricopa AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extended periods of time. In many cases, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Maricopa AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Maricopa AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Maricopa AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 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 important 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Maricopa AZ.