How to Select the Right CNA School near Sedona 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 programs near Sedona AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a complicated undertaking, it's imperative that you choose the best school to receive the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to picking a school requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those topics along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Sedona AZ hospitals, clinics and other health 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 guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Providing basic services 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
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Sedona AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Sedona AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Certificates
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Sedona AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA 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 decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Sedona AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Sedona AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 finish 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Sedona AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Sedona AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Sedona Certified Nursing Assistant Program
Picking the best certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Sedona AZ.