How to Pick the Right CNA Program near Conway Arkansas
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Conway AR. Once you have earned your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the Country. Though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the ideal course to obtain the proper training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those subjects along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Conway AR hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring 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 may also work in Conway 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 the majority of people carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Conway AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Conway AR. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 quality education and employment in the Conway AR area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different 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 important that the school you are attending 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 working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, 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 speak with some Conway 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 programs 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 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 Conway AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Conway AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA Training
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Conway AR.