How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Scottsdale Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Scottsdale AZ. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it may seem like a challenging task, it's essential that you choose the best program to obtain the proper training and education. Many future students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence before picking a school involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues as well as a few other questions that you need to 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Scottsdale AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. 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 oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Scottsdale AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. 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 individuals perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Scottsdale 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Scottsdale AZ. Certain 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 completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start 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 choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Scottsdale AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Scottsdale AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Scottsdale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Scottsdale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA School
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Scottsdale AZ.