How to Pick the Right CNA Classes 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 training programs near Prescott AZ. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding positions in healthcare within the United States. Although it might seem like a challenging task, it's important that you choose the best program to acquire the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a school involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Prescott AZ hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Prescott AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Prescott AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Prescott AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize 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 essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Prescott AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Prescott AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Prescott AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA Program
Picking the best certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate 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.