How to Find the Right Nursing Assistant Course near San Tan Valley 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 finding CNA training classes near San Tan Valley AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's important that you select the right course to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost 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 concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a program consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those subjects along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in San Tan Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extended time frames. Frequently, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training 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 just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in San Tan Valley AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the San Tan Valley AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact 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 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the San Tan Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA Training
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in San Tan Valley AZ.