How to Choose the Best 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 begin the process of finding CNA classes near Queen Creek AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a challenging undertaking, it's imperative that you select the ideal course to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll 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 available.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Queen Creek AZ hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking 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 might also practice in Queen Creek AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Queen Creek AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with 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.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Queen Creek AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain 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 available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check 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 opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Queen Creek AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Queen Creek AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA School
Picking the right certified nursing assistant college is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Queen Creek AZ.