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How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School near Cabot Arkansas

Cabot AR Nursing Assistant taking man's vital signsOnce you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Cabot AR. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Though it may seem like a difficult task, it's essential that you pick the ideal school to obtain the proper training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a program requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.

The Function of a Nursing Assistant

Cabot AR CNA assisting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Cabot AR hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Administering basic services to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining 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 practice in Cabot AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Cabot AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 other prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Schools

Cabot AR student attending online CNA trainingEnrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Cabot AR. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually 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 practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Should You Become a CNA?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical component of any Cabot AR medical organization. As a matter of fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of residents or patients of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she works for. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. 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 rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time 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 people while treating them with respect and dignity.

Questions to Ask CNA Schools

Questions to Ask Cabot AR CNA training programsNow that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Cabot AR area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ 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 a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, 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 opinions are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Cabot AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Cabot AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Right CNA Training

Cabot AR Nursing Assistant with assisted living residentDeciding on the right certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Cabot AR.