How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near San Tan Valley Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near San Tan Valley AZ. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the United States. Though it might seem like a daunting task, it's important that you choose the best school to receive the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most fundamental 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 program and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a program requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those subjects along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking 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 facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extended periods of time. Often, they can become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at San Tan Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in San Tan Valley AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important member of any San Tan Valley AZ medical team. In fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that he or she works for. CNAs also help with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who love to keep busy and help people while treating them with dignity and respect.
Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the San Tan Valley AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria 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 outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 programs 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the San Tan Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with local San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA Program
Picking the best certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in San Tan Valley AZ.