How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Fayetteville Arkansas
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Fayetteville AR. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in health care within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a complicated task, it's imperative that you choose the ideal program to obtain the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be debating 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 completing your due diligence before picking a training course consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be covering those topics together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Fayetteville AR hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. 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 management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Fayetteville AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships 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 DiplomasIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Fayetteville AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just 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 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 prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Fayetteville AR. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is an important component of any Fayetteville AR medical organization. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time 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 people as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price 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 prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Fayetteville AR area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often 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 completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fayetteville 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 schools you are considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Fayetteville AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local Fayetteville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Fayetteville AR.