How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Prescott Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Prescott AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the Country. Even though it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you pick the best school to obtain the proper training and education. Many potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course entails much 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 along with various 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 healthcare 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 function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Prescott AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Prescott AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must 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 crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Prescott AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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). Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a vital member of any Prescott AZ healthcare team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of residents or patients of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports 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 shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from 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 provided 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied 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 AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Prescott AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA School
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Prescott AZ.