How to Pick the Right CNA Course near Jacksonville 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 programs near Jacksonville AR. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the Country. Although it might seem like a challenging task, it's important that you choose the right course to acquire the necessary training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be debating 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 doing your due diligence prior to choosing a program involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues along with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk 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 Jacksonville AR hospitals, practices and other healthcare facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Jacksonville AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Jacksonville AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more popular way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Jacksonville AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A CNA is a vital part of any Jacksonville AR healthcare team. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she works for. CNAs also help 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 works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who love to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
What to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so 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 initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Jacksonville AR area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- 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 as well. Additionally, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Jacksonville 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 programs you are looking at 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Jacksonville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Jacksonville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Training
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant school is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, 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 exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Jacksonville AR.