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How to Select the Right Nursing Assistant School near Cabot Arkansas

Cabot AR Certified Nursing Assistant taking patient's vital signsOnce 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 training programs near Cabot AR. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Though it might seem like a complicated undertaking, it's imperative that you choose the ideal school to obtain the necessary training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But doing your due diligence before choosing 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 issues as well as various 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a Nursing Assistant

Cabot AR Nursing Assistant assisting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Cabot AR hospitals, practices 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 supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:

  • Administering basic services to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Transporting patients to other areas

CNAs might also work in Cabot AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Frequently, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Cabot AR 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. 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 minimal period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Schools

Cabot AR student attending CNA online trainingAttending CNA schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Cabot AR. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A CNA is an important component of any Cabot AR healthcare team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who like to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.

Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs

Questions to Ask Cabot AR CNA schoolsNow that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.

  • 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education and employment in the Cabot AR area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Cabot AR 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 programs 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 displeased 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 Cabot AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Cabot AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Pick the Right CNA School

Cabot AR Nursing Assistant with assisted living patientPicking the right certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Cabot AR.