How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School near Maricopa Arizona
Once 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 training classes near Maricopa AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in medical care within the Country. Though it may seem like a complicated endeavor, it's imperative that you select the ideal course to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Maricopa 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 identified 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 patients since they often remain in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant ProgramsIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Maricopa AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to 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 have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Maricopa AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Maricopa AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Maricopa 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 schools you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Maricopa AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Maricopa AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Maricopa Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Maricopa AZ.