How to Choose the Right CNA School near Golden Valley Arizona
Once 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 classes near Golden Valley AZ. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the Country. Though it may seem like a challenging task, it's imperative that you select the ideal course to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a school involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Golden Valley AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they are employed. 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 prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Golden Valley 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 most people carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often stay in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Golden Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Certificates
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Golden Valley AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and 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 probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. 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 field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the Golden Valley AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Golden Valley 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Golden Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local Golden Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Golden Valley CNA School
Picking the best certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you select a CNA college 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 choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Golden Valley AZ.