How to Select the Best CNA School near Texarkana Arkansas
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Texarkana AR. Once you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a difficult task, it's essential that you pick the best school to receive the necessary training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a school entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those issues together with several other questions that you need to 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 instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Texarkana AR hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Texarkana 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 defined as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Texarkana AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Texarkana AR. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital component of any Texarkana AR healthcare organization. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of residents or patients of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work 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 people who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Texarkana AR area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 programs 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 displeased 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 Texarkana AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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 mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Texarkana AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Texarkana AR.