How to Pick the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Program near San Tan Valley Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near San Tan Valley AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in health care within the Country. Though it may seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you pick the right course to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a school entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those subjects together with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight 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 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 helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in San Tan Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at San Tan Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 have 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 period of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in San Tan Valley AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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 premium education and employment in the San Tan Valley AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check 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 San Tan Valley 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 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 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 superb reputation within the San Tan Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick 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 CNA in San Tan Valley AZ.