How to Pick the Best CNA College near Prescott Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Prescott AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the Country. Although it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it's important that you select 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 considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a program involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects together with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, 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 carry out many jobs in the Prescott AZ hospitals, practices and other health care 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 perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Prescott AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Prescott AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Prescott AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific 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 convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital part of any Prescott AZ medical organization. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that he or she works for. CNAs also help with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who love to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Prescott AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary 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 provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 call some Prescott 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Prescott AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Prescott AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant School
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Prescott AZ.