How to Enroll In the Right CNA Program near Somerton Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Somerton AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in medical care within the USA. Although it may well seem like a daunting undertaking, it's essential that you choose the ideal program to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start 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 at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a training course consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics together with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Somerton AZ hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Somerton 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 defined as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Frequently, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained 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, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Courses
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Somerton AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to 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 frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 programs you are looking at 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Somerton AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Somerton AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Somerton CNA Training
Picking the best certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Somerton AZ.