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How to Pick the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School near Somerton Arizona

Somerton Arizona Certified Nursing Assistant taking blood pressure of male patientOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Somerton AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in medical care within the United States. Though it may seem like a difficult task, it's essential that you choose the right school to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most essential 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 course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a school involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those subjects 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 type of training and credentials that are available.

The Job of a CNA

Somerton Arizona Certified Nursing Assistant assisting patient on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Somerton AZ hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:

  • Administering basic care to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other rooms

CNAs might also work in Somerton AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Certificates

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Somerton AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course 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 might be additional requirements as well.

Online CNA Certificates

Somerton Arizona Certified Nursing Assistant holding patient health fileEnrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Somerton AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask CNA Programs

Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.

  • 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Somerton AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Somerton 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Somerton AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Somerton AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Find Out More About Somerton CNA Colleges

Pick the Right Somerton Certified Nursing Assistant Program

Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both 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 pick 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 Somerton AZ.


 

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