How to Pick the Right CNA Training Program near Catalina Arizona
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 Catalina AZ. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the USA. Though it might seem like a complicated undertaking, it's essential that you pick the right school to receive the necessary 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 contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a program requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects along with various other questions that you should 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 available.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Catalina AZ hospitals, practices and other medical 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 direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Catalina AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved 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, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant ProgramsIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Catalina AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact 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 can be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Catalina AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education and employment in the Catalina AZ area, it may help in securing 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Catalina AZ 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Catalina AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Catalina AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Catalina Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Catalina AZ.