How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Assistant College near Benton Arkansas
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Benton AR. After you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the USA. Even though it might seem like a challenging task, it's imperative that you select the ideal program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many future students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a program consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues along with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Benton AR hospitals, clinics and other medical 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 direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Benton AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. Frequently, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Benton AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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 training is state approved. Along with 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.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Benton AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a vital member of any Benton AR medical team. In fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of patients or residents of the medical agency or facility that she or he is employed by. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right profession for people who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the Benton AR area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Benton AR 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Benton AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Benton AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA Training
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, 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 produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Benton AR.