How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Golden Valley Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Golden Valley AZ. Once you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in medical care within the USA. Although it might seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the ideal school to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a school consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Golden Valley AZ hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Golden Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant DiplomasUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Golden Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Certificates
Attending CNA classes online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Golden Valley AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm 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 offered 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online 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. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Golden Valley 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Golden Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Golden Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Golden Valley CNA Program
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick 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 CNA in Golden Valley AZ.