How to Pick the Right Nursing Assistant College 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 start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Tempe AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the Country. Even though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the best school to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Tempe AZ hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. 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 direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist 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 helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Tempe AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received 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, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Tempe AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific 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 accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have selected 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 start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 confirm that you get a premium education and employment in the Tempe AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, 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 opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative 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 assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Tempe AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Tempe AZ.