How to Select the Right Nursing Assistant Program near Oro Valley Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Oro Valley AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the United States. Though it might seem like a daunting task, it's essential that you select the best course to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering 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 doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school consists of far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll 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 Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Oro Valley AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because 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 function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Oro Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Oro Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more popular way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Oro Valley AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital part of any Oro Valley AZ medical team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that she or he works for. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work 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 those who like to keep busy and help people while treating them with dignity and respect.
Things to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares 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. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Oro Valley 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Oro Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Oro Valley AZ.