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How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Oro Valley Arizona

Oro Valley AZ Nursing Assistant taking man's vital signsOnce you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Oro Valley AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the USA. Even though it may well seem like an overwhelming task, it's imperative that you select the best program to obtain the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a training course requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those subjects as well as various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Oro Valley AZ CNA greeting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Oro Valley AZ hospitals, clinics and other health facilities 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 oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Furnishing basic services to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other rooms

CNAs can also work in Oro Valley 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 identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extensive time frames. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Courses

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Oro Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Schools

Oro Valley AZ woman taking CNA online trainingEnrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Oro Valley AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical member of any Oro Valley AZ healthcare team. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that he or she is employed by. 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 team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with respect and dignity.

What to Ask CNA Courses

Questions to Ask Oro Valley AZ CNA schoolsOnce you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.

  • 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Oro Valley AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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.  Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps 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 evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Oro Valley 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Oro Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Training

Oro Valley AZ Nursing Assistant with nursing home patientChoosing the ideal certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Oro Valley AZ.