How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School near Texarkana Arkansas
Once 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 Texarkana AR. Once you have attained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the Country. Though it may seem like a complicated task, it's important that you choose the best course to receive the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a training course requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those topics together with various 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 instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Texarkana AR hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. 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. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Texarkana AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Texarkana AR vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certain that the training 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 other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Texarkana AR. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited 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.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. 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 essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality 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 criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Texarkana AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Texarkana AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Texarkana AR.