How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College 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 attained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the United States. Even though it may seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you choose the right course to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a program consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those subjects together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you register 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 offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Tempe AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Tempe AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Tempe AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 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 that every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Tempe AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical component of any Tempe AZ healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of residents or patients of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she works for. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who like to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist 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 essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping ensure 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 frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Tempe AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best CNA Program
Picking the right certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical 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 checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Tempe AZ.