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How to Choose the Best CNA Course near Show Low Arizona

Show Low Arizona Nursing Assistant taking blood pressure of senior patientNow 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 finding CNA training programs near Show Low AZ. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the United States. Although it may well seem like an overwhelming task, it's essential that you choose the best program to obtain the necessary training and education. Many future students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a school entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics along with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Show Low Arizona Nursing Assistant assisting patient with crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Show Low AZ hospitals, practices and other health care organizations 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 supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:

  • Providing basic services to patients
  • Reading patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs might also practice in Show Low AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. Often, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Show Low AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Courses

Show Low Arizona Nursing Assistant holding patient medical chartAttending CNA classes online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Show Low AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Things 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 online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Show Low AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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.  Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative 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 internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Show Low 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 complete 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Show Low AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Show Low AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Learn More About Show Low CNA Programs

Choose the Right Show Low Certified Nursing Assistant School

Selecting the right certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Show Low AZ.


 

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