How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Queen Creek Arizona
Once 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 classes near Queen Creek AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Although it may well seem like a complicated undertaking, it's imperative that you select the ideal program to obtain the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a school requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those subjects as well as various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Queen Creek AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical 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 perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Queen Creek AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extended periods of time. In many cases, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Queen Creek AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 certified. As well as 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.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA classes online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Queen Creek AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education and employment in the Queen Creek AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 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 complete 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 superb reputation within the Queen Creek AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Queen Creek AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final 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.