How to Enroll In 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 programs near Texarkana AR. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you choose the best program to obtain the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic 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 program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a program entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start 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 CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Texarkana AR hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Texarkana AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. 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 accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Texarkana AR vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Texarkana AR. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted 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 school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a critical part of any Texarkana AR medical organization. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that he or she works for. 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 member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
Things to Ask CNA Degree 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 choices. As you no doubt realize, 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 to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education and employment in the Texarkana AR area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 considering 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Texarkana AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Texarkana AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA Training
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical 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 develop a shortlist of schools to pick 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 certified nursing assistant in Texarkana AR.