How to Pick the Best Nursing Assistant Course near Fayetteville Arkansas
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Fayetteville AR. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the United States. Even though it may seem like a challenging undertaking, it's imperative that you choose the ideal course to obtain the proper training and education. Many potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a training course entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those subjects as well as several other questions that you need to 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 Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Fayetteville AR hospitals, practices and other health facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather 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 main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Fayetteville AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Fayetteville AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Fayetteville AR. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Fayetteville AR area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Fayetteville 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 considering 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 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 Fayetteville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Fayetteville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select 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 Fayetteville AR.