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CNA Certification Training Classes Mesa AZ


How to Choose the Right CNA College near Mesa Arizona

Mesa AZ CNA taking patient's blood pressureOnce 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 programs near Mesa AZ. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in medical care within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the best school to receive the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence before picking a training course consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues along 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are available.

The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Mesa AZ Certified Nursing Assistant assisting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Mesa AZ hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:

  • Administering basic services to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transporting patients to other rooms

CNAs can also practice in Mesa AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they can become the conduit 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 valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Mesa AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 certain that the training 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Programs

Mesa AZ student taking online CNA trainingEnrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Mesa AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Schools

Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.

  • 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Mesa 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.  Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Mesa 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 programs 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 good reputation within the Mesa AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. 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 a working relationship with local Mesa AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Learn How to Choose a CNA School

Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Program

Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you select 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 develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Mesa AZ.