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How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Catalina Arizona

Catalina Arizona Certified Nursing Assistant taking blood pressure of male patientOnce you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Catalina AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you select the ideal school to acquire the necessary training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost 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 on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those subjects as well as various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Catalina Arizona CNA helping patient with crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Catalina AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight 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 responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:

  • Furnishing basic services to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other areas

CNAs might also practice in Catalina AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals accomplish 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 reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

Certified Nursing Assistant Training

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Catalina AZ vocational or trade schools. The length 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 have 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 period of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Schools

Catalina Arizona Certified Nursing Assistant holding patient health chartEnrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Catalina AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Catalina AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain 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 preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Catalina AZ 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 programs 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Catalina AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Catalina AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Find Out More About Catalina CNA Colleges

Enroll in the Right Catalina Certified Nursing Assistant School

Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Catalina AZ.


 

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