How to Find the Best CNA Course near Phoenix Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Phoenix AZ. Once you have earned your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Although it may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's essential that you select the ideal school to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a training course requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Phoenix AZ hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment can 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 assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Phoenix AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extended periods of time. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Phoenix AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one 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 must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. 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 Programs
Attending CNA schools online is growing into a more favored way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Phoenix AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many 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 lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a vital component of any Phoenix AZ medical team. As a matter of fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening 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 while treating them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 verify that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Phoenix AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Phoenix AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Phoenix AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA School
Picking the best certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Phoenix AZ.