How to Find the Right Nursing Assistant College near Phoenix 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 Phoenix AZ. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing positions in health care within the USA. Though it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the ideal program to acquire the necessary training and education. Many potential students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence before picking a school consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Phoenix AZ hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Phoenix 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 defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Phoenix AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one 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 period of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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 certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Phoenix AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A CNA is a critical member of any Phoenix AZ medical organization. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the direct care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA reports to 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 healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who love to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. 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 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. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Phoenix AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Phoenix 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 Phoenix AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Phoenix AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Phoenix AZ.