How to Select the Best CNA College near Surprise Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Surprise AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the USA. Though it might seem like an overwhelming task, it's imperative that you select the right program to receive the proper training and education. Many potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a school requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those topics together with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Surprise AZ hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Surprise AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Surprise AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Surprise AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like 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 training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Surprise AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, 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 assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools you are looking at 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Surprise AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Surprise AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Training
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Surprise AZ.