How to Choose the Best CNA Course near Prescott 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 Prescott AZ. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the USA. Though it may seem like a challenging endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the ideal course to acquire the proper training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most basic 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 program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects along with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Prescott AZ hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Prescott AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Prescott AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 sure 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.
CNA Online Certificates
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Prescott AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more 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 commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Training Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education and employment in the Prescott AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in 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. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Prescott 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 considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Prescott AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Prescott AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Prescott CNA Training
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant program is probably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, 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 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Prescott AZ.