How to Find the Best CNA Training Program 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 searching for CNA training programs near Phoenix AZ. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the Country. Although it may well seem like a daunting task, it's important that you choose the right course to acquire the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a school requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics along with various other questions that you should 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 type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Phoenix AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Phoenix AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Phoenix AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 instruction, 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 each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Phoenix AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost 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 alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Phoenix AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ 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 delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. 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 call some Phoenix 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 colleges 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Phoenix AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Phoenix AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA School
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Phoenix AZ.