How to Pick the Right CNA School near Prescott Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Prescott Valley AZ. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Although it might seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's imperative that you choose the ideal course to obtain the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be pondering 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 performing your due diligence before selecting a school requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform 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 many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Prescott Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extended time frames. Frequently, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Prescott Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 period of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Prescott Valley AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number 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 practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is an important part of any Prescott Valley AZ medical organization. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of patients or residents of the healthcare agency or facility that she or he works for. CNAs also help with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and moving 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 job for people who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably 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 so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Prescott Valley AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Prescott Valley 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 colleges you are looking at 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 displeased 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 Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. Many 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 assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent 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 select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Prescott Valley AZ.