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How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Russellville Arkansas

Russellville AR Certified Nursing Assistant taking man's blood pressureNow that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Russellville AR. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the Country. Though it may well seem like a complicated task, it's important that you pick the ideal program to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence before choosing a training course entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects along with several other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Function of a Nursing Assistant

Russellville AR Nursing Assistant assisting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Russellville AR hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per 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. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:

  • Furnishing basic care to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transporting patients to other areas

CNAs can also work in Russellville AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Frequently, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Russellville AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as 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.

Online CNA Training

Russellville AR woman attending online CNA coursesAttending CNA classes online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Russellville AR. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Why Become a CNA?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical component of any Russellville AR medical team. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of patients or residents of the medical agency or facility that she or he works for. 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 team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses depend 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 demanding, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.

What to Ask CNA Schools

What to Ask Russellville AR CNA schoolsOnce you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, 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 choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Russellville AR area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Russellville 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 colleges 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Russellville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
  • 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Russellville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant School

Russellville AR CNA with nursing home patientPicking the best certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you should consider when deciding on 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 post, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Russellville AR.