How to Choose the Right Accredited CNA College Near El Mirage Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near El Mirage AZ. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it may seem like a daunting task, it's essential that you choose the best course to acquire the proper training and education. Many potential students start 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 program and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before picking a program requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors 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 first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
CNAs are on the front lines of providing basic care to patients in a variety of health care facilities, with responsibilities ranging from assisting with personal daily needs such as bathing and exercising to monitoring vital signs and dietary restrictions. All job requirements tend to be non-invasive procedures and revolve around daily routines that patients may not be able to complete on their own. Working under the supervision of licensed nurses, CNAs provide personal, professional assistance, ensuring patients are treated with dignity and respect and while receiving necessary medical care. In addition to being able to provide day-to-day care to their patients, CNAs must be compassionate communicators who can support their patients through difficult and sometimes painful procedures. Because they provide many basic care services such as bathing patients and helping them transfer to wheelchairs, they must also have a certain level of physical fitness. CNAs are expected to be team players, serving as liaisons between other medical professionals and their patients. This often involves recording and conveying important information concerning the condition of those in their charge. CNAs are found in nearly every health care field, serving in El Mirage AZ locations such as long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and hospices.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at El Mirage AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in El Mirage AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers 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 essential to lower 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 as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- State Approval. Each state has its own requirements for training and certification to become a practicing CNA. When researching schools, make sure the program you select is on the state-approved program list to ensure you will meet Arizona's requirements for certification following graduation. While programs across the country all teach the same basic care principles, states may differ on the number of classroom hours and/or clinical practice time is required.
- Accreditation. The first thing you will want to look for when choosing a CNA school is accreditation. Accreditation is proof that the school in question has met certain standards required to train and educate students. As such, always make sure that the school you are researching is accredited by a national accrediting agency.
- Program Cost. The cost of a CNA program can vary from school to school, but in general, CNA training programs are less expensive than an LPN training program, as the curriculum is less in-depth. Vocational schools, community colleges and some medical facilities in the El Mirage AZ offer CNA training programs and may charge tuition by the credit hour or as a flat program fee. When calculating the total cost of a program, be sure to include the cost of books, course materials and uniform, background check fees, medical examination/TB test fees and the cost of the certification exam in addition to the tuition.
- Time Commitment. A CNA training program can take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks to complete, and will include clinical training hours in addition to classroom hours. One of the reasons becoming a CNA is a great entry into the Arizona nursing profession is this fast completion time, meaning CNAs can enter the work force much more quickly than an aspiring LPN or RN. Many CNAs use a position as a CNA to determine if nursing is the right career for them, and may decide to become an LPN or RN at a later date.
- Online vs. On Campus. Another program element to consider is whether or not your school of choice offers online courses. Online courses may be more convenient for students who have other work or family obligations that limit their availability to be on campus. Online programs provide students with the flexibility to complete assignments at their El Mirage AZ home on their own schedules. Recognizing the need for flexibility among their students, many traditional classroom CNA programs also offer classes during nights and weekends.
Pick the Right El Mirage Nurse Assistant Training
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select 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 El Mirage Arizona.