How to Choose the Best Certified 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 start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Tempe AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing positions in medical care within the United States. Even though it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the right school to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be pondering 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 choosing a program involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, 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 are responsible for many functions in the Tempe AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead 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 main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing 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
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Tempe AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Tempe AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Tempe AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household commitments 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 Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Tempe AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at 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. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Tempe AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Tempe AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA School
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Tempe AZ.