How to Choose the Best Nursing Assistant Classes near Tempe Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Tempe AZ. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the United States. Although it may well seem like a complicated undertaking, it's essential that you select the ideal school to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a program consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Tempe AZ hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Tempe AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Tempe AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 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 necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Tempe AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout 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 already discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education and employment in the Tempe AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Tempe AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. 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 as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Tempe AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant School
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Tempe AZ.