How to Select the Best CNA Course near El Mirage Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near El Mirage AZ. Once you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in medical care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a daunting endeavor, it's imperative that you select the right program to acquire the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a school consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those subjects as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And 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 environment can include:
- Providing basic care 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
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in El Mirage AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extended periods of time. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CoursesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at El Mirage AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. 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 Courses
Enrolling in CNA schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in El Mirage AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping confirm that you get an excellent education and employment in the El Mirage AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some El Mirage 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 complete 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 superb reputation within the El Mirage AZ 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 environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby El Mirage AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right El Mirage Nurse Assistant Training
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in El Mirage AZ.