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How to Choose the Right Nursing Assistant Program near Surprise Arizona

Surprise AZ Certified Nursing Assistant taking man's blood pressureNow that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Surprise AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the ideal school to receive the necessary training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating 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 completing your due diligence before picking a school consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues along with various 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 offered.

The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Surprise AZ CNA helping patient

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Surprise AZ hospitals, clinics and other health facilities 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 work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:

  • Providing 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
  • Transporting patients to other areas

CNAs might also work in Surprise AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Surprise AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain 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 education is state certified. 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 prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Schools

Surprise AZ woman attending online CNA coursesAttending CNA schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Surprise AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes

Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Surprise AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Surprise 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Surprise AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost 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 Surprise AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Learn How to Choose a CNA School

Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Training

Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant school is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Surprise AZ.