How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes 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. After you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the USA. Although it may seem like a complicated endeavor, it's essential that you select the ideal course to obtain the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those topics together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Phoenix AZ hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Phoenix AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Phoenix AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Phoenix AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job 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 more convenient 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 Phoenix AZ healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of patients or residents of the healthcare agency or facility that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses depend 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 job can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points 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 pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education and employment in the Phoenix AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check 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 judgements 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative 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 medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Phoenix AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant School
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Phoenix AZ.