How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Assistant Course near Texarkana Arkansas
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Texarkana AR. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the United States. Although it may seem like a difficult task, it's essential that you pick the best program to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a training course involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those topics together with a few other questions that you need to 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 Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Texarkana AR hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they are employed. 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 supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Texarkana AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate 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 education can be received at community colleges or at Texarkana 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 have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally 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 education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Texarkana AR. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education and employment in the Texarkana AR area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet 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, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Texarkana 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Texarkana AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Texarkana AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Texarkana AR.