How to Choose the Right CNA Course near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Hot Springs National Park AR. Once you have obtained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in health care within the USA. Even though it may seem like a challenging endeavor, it's imperative that you select the best course to acquire the proper training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to picking a program requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those issues together with a few 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 instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Hot Springs National Park AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Hot Springs National Park AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Hot Springs National Park AR. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What 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 use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Hot Springs National Park AR area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. 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 Hot Springs National Park 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Hot Springs National Park AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant School
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant program is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using 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 drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Hot Springs National Park AR.