How to Select the Right Nursing Assistant College near Prescott Valley 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 Prescott Valley AZ. Once you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in health care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a complicated undertaking, it's essential that you choose the right course to receive the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those issues together with several other questions that you should 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 type of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Prescott Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Prescott Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the training 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Prescott Valley AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Prescott Valley AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites 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 completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Prescott Valley 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 programs 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 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 superb reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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 requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Program
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Prescott Valley AZ.