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How to Choose the Right Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Near Marana Arizona

Marana Arizona Nursing Assistant going over patient chart with NurseOnce you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Marana AZ. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a daunting undertaking, it's important that you choose the best program to obtain the proper training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a school consists of 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 issues together with a few other questions that you should 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 training and credentials that are available.

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The Function of a Nursing Assistant

Marana Arizona CNA with senior woman in assisted living facility

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Marana 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. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:

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

CNAs may also work in Marana AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extensive time frames. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Marana AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 can be other requirements as well.

Online CNA Classes

Marana Arizona young woman student taking CNA courses onlineAttending CNA training online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Marana AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Colleges

Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, 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 previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get an excellent education and employment in the Marana AZ area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Marana 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 schools you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Marana AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Marana AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

More on How Long Does it Take to Become a CNA in Marana

Choose the Right Marana Nurse Assistant School

Selecting the best certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Marana Arizona.


 

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