How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Assistant Classes near Yuma Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Yuma AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Although it may seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you choose the right school to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues as well as several other questions that you should 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 available.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Yuma AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Yuma AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Yuma AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the training 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to 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 Training
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Yuma AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 make sure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Yuma AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Yuma AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Yuma AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Training
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate 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.