How to Pick the Right Nursing Assistant Training Program near Queen Creek Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Queen Creek AZ. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a complicated task, it's essential that you select the best program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a school requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you register 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 Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Queen Creek AZ hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help 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
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Queen Creek AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extended periods of time. In many cases, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Queen Creek AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to 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 have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 education 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Queen Creek AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive 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 numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education and employment in the Queen Creek AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Queen Creek 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 schools 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Queen Creek AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Queen Creek AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA School
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Queen Creek AZ.