How to Enroll In the Right CNA Training Program Near Phoenix Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Phoenix AZ. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the Country. Though it may well seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you select the ideal course to obtain the necessary training and education. Many future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a program involves much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those issues together with various 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
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The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Phoenix AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Phoenix AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Frequently, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Phoenix AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's important 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Courses
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Phoenix AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines 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 necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Phoenix AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 contact some Phoenix 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 good reputation within the Phoenix AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Phoenix AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
More on How Long Does it Take to Become a CNA in Phoenix
Pick the Right Phoenix Nurse Assistant Program
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Phoenix Arizona.