How to Find the Best CNA Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Prescott Valley AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the Country. Although it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the best course to receive the necessary training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a program consists of much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Prescott Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Often, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Prescott Valley 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Prescott Valley AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Prescott Valley AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 opinions 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified 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 local Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA Training
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Prescott Valley AZ.