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How to Choose the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Classes Near Scottsdale Arizona

Scottsdale Arizona CNA reviewing patient file with RNNow that 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 classes near Scottsdale AZ. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the United States. Although it might seem like a challenging task, it's imperative that you select the ideal school to receive the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a school requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those topics together with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.

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The Role of a Nursing Assistant

Scottsdale Arizona CNA with senior female patient in assisted living facility

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Scottsdale AZ hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might 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
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs may also work in Scottsdale AZ nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Scottsdale AZ vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

Online CNA Programs

Scottsdale Arizona young female student taking CNA training onlineEnrolling in CNA schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Scottsdale AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. 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 many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. 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). So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Programs

Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary 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 along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.

  • 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Scottsdale AZ area, it may assist in obtaining 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.  Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, 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 Scottsdale AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Scottsdale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Scottsdale 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 Scottsdale

Choose the Right Scottsdale Nurse Assistant Program

Selecting the best certified nursing assistant program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Scottsdale Arizona.


 

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