How to Select the Right CNA Program near Scottsdale Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Scottsdale AZ. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing positions in healthcare within the Country. Though it may seem like a difficult endeavor, it's essential that you choose the best school to acquire the proper training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price 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 on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a school requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Scottsdale AZ hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Scottsdale AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they can become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Scottsdale AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 period of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Enrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Scottsdale AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional 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 commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A CNA is an important part of any Scottsdale AZ medical organization. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for those who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
What to Ask CNA Training 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 internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, 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 earlier discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Scottsdale AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Scottsdale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Scottsdale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare 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 ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Scottsdale AZ.