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How to Select the Best CNA Program Near Glendale Arizona

Glendale Arizona Nursing Assistant reviewing patient chart with NurseOnce 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 training programs near Glendale AZ. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's imperative that you select the right course to obtain the proper training and education. Many potential 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 course and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before picking a training course entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.

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The Job of a CNA

Glendale Arizona Nursing Assistant with senior female patient in nursing home

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:

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

CNAs can also practice in Glendale AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Glendale AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.

CNA Online Courses

Glendale Arizona young woman student enrolled in CNA courses onlineEnrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Glendale AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component 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 rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

What to Ask CNA Training Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Glendale AZ area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards 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, 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 Glendale AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Glendale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Glendale AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Find Out How to Become a CNA in Glendale

Choose the Best Glendale Nurse Assistant Training

Selecting the best certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Glendale Arizona.


 

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