How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Hot Springs Arkansas
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Hot Springs AR. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a difficult undertaking, it's important that you choose the ideal course to acquire the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school consists of far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those subjects together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Hot Springs AR hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Hot Springs AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they often remain in the facilities for extended periods of time. Often, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Hot Springs AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 Programs
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Hot Springs AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably 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 select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Hot Springs AR area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Hot Springs 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 AR medical 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 setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Hot Springs AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA School
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Hot Springs AR.