How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School near Yuma 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 programs near Yuma AZ. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a challenging undertaking, it's important that you pick the right program to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental 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 program and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Yuma AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Yuma 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 identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Frequently, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Yuma AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Yuma AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the Yuma AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different 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 important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Yuma 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 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 unhappy 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 Yuma AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Yuma AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA School
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 CNA in Yuma AZ.