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How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near El Mirage Arizona

El Mirage Arizona CNA taking blood pressure of senior patientOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near El Mirage AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the Country. Though it may seem like a daunting endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the ideal program to acquire the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a school involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics along with several other questions that you need to 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 type of instruction and credentials that are available.

The Role of a CNA

El Mirage Arizona CNA helping patient with crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:

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

CNAs might also work in El Mirage AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extended time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

Certified Nursing Assistant Training

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at El Mirage AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Certificates

El Mirage Arizona Certified Nursing Assistant holding patient health chartEnrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in El Mirage AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Colleges

Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.

  • 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. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education and employment in the El Mirage AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some El Mirage AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs 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 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 El Mirage AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Learn More About El Mirage CNA Colleges

Enroll in the Right El Mirage Nurse Assistant School

Selecting the right certified nursing assistant college is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in El Mirage AZ.


 

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