How to Pick the Right Nursing Assistant Training Program near Tempe Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Tempe AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Although it may well seem like an overwhelming task, it's important that you select the ideal program to obtain the necessary 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 might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to picking a training course requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Tempe AZ hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Tempe AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Tempe AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Tempe AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the Tempe AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Tempe 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 colleges you are considering 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Tempe AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Tempe AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Picking the best certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, 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 utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Tempe AZ.