How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College near West Memphis Arkansas
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near West Memphis AR. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the USA. Although it might seem like a challenging undertaking, it's essential that you choose the right course to receive the necessary training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a program requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those issues along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the West Memphis AR hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary 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:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in West Memphis AR nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at West Memphis 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in West Memphis AR. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. 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). Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as 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 probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. 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 selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the West Memphis AR area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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. 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 provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some West Memphis AR healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools 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 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 favorable reputation within the West Memphis AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby West Memphis AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant college is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select 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 West Memphis AR.