How to Select the Right Nursing Assistant Program near Tempe Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Tempe AZ. Once you have earned your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Although it might seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's important that you select the ideal course to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues along with several other questions that you should 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 instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Tempe AZ hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Tempe AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extended time frames. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Tempe AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Tempe AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Tempe AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria 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 performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps 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 organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Tempe AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Tempe AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Training
Picking the best certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Tempe AZ.