How to Pick the Right CNA Training Program near Prescott Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Prescott AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Although it might seem like a challenging undertaking, it's important that you pick the ideal course to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a training course involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics together with 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 type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Prescott AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Prescott 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 defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extended time frames. In many cases, they can become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Prescott AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the training course 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 may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Prescott AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work 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.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Prescott AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch 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 considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential 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 AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Prescott AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant School
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Prescott AZ.