How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School near Laveen Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Laveen AZ. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in healthcare within the Country. Even though it may seem like a difficult endeavor, it's important that you select the right school to receive the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Laveen AZ hospitals, practices and other healthcare facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Laveen AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. 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 people perform daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extended time frames. In many cases, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Laveen AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 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 must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Laveen AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Laveen AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Laveen 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 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Laveen AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Laveen AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Laveen CNA Training
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using 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 Laveen AZ.