How to Choose the Right Nursing Assistant College near Texarkana Arkansas
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Texarkana AR. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a difficult task, it's important that you select the right school to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a program entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be covering those issues along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Texarkana AR hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing 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
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Texarkana AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they may end up being the channel 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 significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Texarkana AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Texarkana AR. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Texarkana AR area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to find out 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 judgements 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Texarkana AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Texarkana AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA School
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Texarkana AR.