How to Select the Best Nursing Assistant Program near Russellville Arkansas
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Russellville AR. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the USA. Although it might seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you select the best program to obtain the necessary training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a program consists of far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those subjects as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Russellville AR hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking 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 can also work in Russellville 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 characterized as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often stay in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have 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 instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important 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 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Russellville AR. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important component of any Russellville AR medical organization. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of patients or residents of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. 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 rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time 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 patients as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Russellville AR area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Russellville AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Russellville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Training
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select 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 Russellville AR.