How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Yuma Arizona
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Yuma AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in healthcare within the USA. Although it may well seem like a daunting task, it's important that you choose the best course to acquire the proper training and education. Many potential students start with the two most essential 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 about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Yuma AZ hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Yuma AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn 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 just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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 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 might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Yuma AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the Yuma AZ area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Yuma 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Yuma AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Yuma AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA Training
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional 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 ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Yuma AZ.