How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Assistant Course near Tempe Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Tempe AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the USA. Although it may well seem like an overwhelming task, it's essential that you choose the right program to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a school involves 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 along with several other questions that you should be asking before you register 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 Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Tempe AZ hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Tempe AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need 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 training can take anywhere from just one to three 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 that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA training online is growing into 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 call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get 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 requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- 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. In addition, check 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 complete 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 confirm 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 employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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 positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Tempe AZ.