How to Select the Right CNA Classes near Scottsdale Arizona
Once 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. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a challenging endeavor, it's important that you choose the best course to obtain the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic 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 program and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a school requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss 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 functions in the Scottsdale AZ hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Scottsdale AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Scottsdale 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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 approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Scottsdale AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and 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 no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Scottsdale AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Scottsdale 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 schools 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Scottsdale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Scottsdale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you pick 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 create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Scottsdale AZ.