How to Find the Right Nursing Assistant School near San Tan Valley 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 finding CNA training classes near San Tan Valley AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the United States. Although it may seem like a daunting undertaking, it's important that you select the right program to acquire the proper training and education. Many 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 pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those issues together with 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, clinics 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 function under the direction and supervision 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 might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in San Tan Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at San Tan Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure 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 course 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 prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in San Tan Valley AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within 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 already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the San Tan Valley AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 considering 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 unhappy 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 assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in San Tan Valley AZ.