How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Queen Creek 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 searching for CNA training programs near Queen Creek AZ. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the United States. Though it may seem like a challenging task, it's imperative that you pick the right course to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic 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 course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence before picking a program requires far 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 issues 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 instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Queen Creek AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Queen Creek AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. 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 most individuals carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extended time periods. In many cases, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Queen Creek AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 period of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Queen Creek AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Queen Creek AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Queen Creek AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 complete 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 Queen Creek AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Queen Creek AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant School
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Queen Creek AZ.