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CNA Certification Training Classes Prescott AZ


How to Pick the Right CNA Classes near Prescott Arizona

Prescott AZ Certified Nursing Assistant taking patient's vital signsOnce 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 classes near Prescott AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the United States. Though it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you pick the ideal school to acquire the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence before picking a program consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues as well as 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Prescott AZ Certified Nursing Assistant helping patient

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Prescott AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:

  • Providing basic services to patients
  • Reading patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other rooms

CNAs can also practice in Prescott AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Prescott AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Classes

Prescott AZ woman attending CNA online classesAttending CNA training online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Prescott AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Programs

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • 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. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Prescott AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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.  Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Prescott 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Prescott AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Prescott AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Pick the Best CNA School

Prescott AZ Nursing Assistant with nursing home residentDeciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Prescott AZ.