How to Choose the Best CNA Training Program near Hot Springs Arkansas
Once 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 AR. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in health care within the United States. Although it might seem like an overwhelming task, it's essential that you choose the best course to obtain the proper training and education. A number of future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a school consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects as well as various other questions that you need to 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Hot Springs AR hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Hot Springs AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Hot Springs AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA classes online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Hot Springs AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive 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 a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital part of any Hot Springs AR healthcare team. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right job for people who like to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Hot Springs AR area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out 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 colleges 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Hot Springs AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Hot Springs AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Hot Springs AR.