How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School Near San Tan Valley Arizona
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near San Tan Valley AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the Country. Though it may well seem like a daunting undertaking, it's important that you choose the best school to acquire the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a program entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those issues along with various other questions that you need to 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.
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The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Taking 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 rooms
CNAs can also practice in San Tan Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at San Tan Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course 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 additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in San Tan Valley AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive 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 many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education and employment in the San Tan Valley AZ area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some San Tan Valley 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 programs you are considering 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the San Tan Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Find Out How to Become a CNA in San Tan Valley
Choose the Right San Tan Valley Nurse Assistant Program
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in San Tan Valley Arizona.
SAN TAN VALLEY CNA SCHOOLS | SAN TAN VALLEY HOW TO BECOME A CNA