How to Select a CNA Classes near West Helena Arkansas
So you have decided to practice as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant classes near West Helena AR. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the USA. Though it might seem like a daunting task, it’s imperative that you select the best CNA program to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online program and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to picking a CNA school requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those subjects together with a few other questions that you should 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 instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA in West Helena AR
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the West Helena AR hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. 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. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient’s vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in West Helena AR nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Frequently, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA’s knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants in West Helena AR do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training program 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 education 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing credential. Many 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 West Helena AR healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit an education into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to West Helena AR as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
Is the CNA program accredited? It’s important that the West Helena AR school and program that you enroll in is accredited. One of the more highly regarded accrediting authorities is the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). CNA schools and programs that have been accredited by the NLNAC are guaranteed to not only provide a quality education but to be state approved as well. Earning a certificate or diploma from an accredited school is also more likely to be credited towards a more advanced nursing degree at another accredited school. And finally, accreditation makes your training more valuable in the job market.
Is the CNA course state approved? Before enrolling in a training course near West Helena AR, make sure that it complies with the certification requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. It should not only satisfy the minimum federal requirement of 75 hours, 16 of which must be clinical training, but any additional state requirements as well. As previously mentioned, if the CNA course is accredited by NLNAC it will be guaranteed to be state approved.
What is the Pass Rate for the State Exam? It’s preferable to enroll in a nursing assistant school near West Helena AR with a pass rate for the state licensing exam of at least 75% for its graduates. If fewer than 75% are passing, it may be an indication that the curriculum and/or the instructors are not effectively training the students. Arkansas posts a list of state CNA schools with their state licensing exam pass rates.
Is there an Internship Program? Find out if the schools you are considering sponsor internships with West Helena AR healthcare facilities. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical experience not available in a classroom or lab setting. As an additional benefit, they can help students establish relationships within the local medical community. They also look good on resumes. Also check to see if tutoring is available as needed. Other options may include an internet school forum or chat room where students can ask questions and share knowledge.
Is there a Job Placement Program? A job placement program can be of great assistance to a graduating student in finding that first nursing position. Find out how many students are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school. If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s a confirmation that its reputation within the West Helena AR medical community is exemplary. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Where is the school located? The campus will need to be within driving distance of your West Helena AR residence unless you are able to relocate. If you enroll in an online program, find out where the clinical portion of your training is available. If a school has an internship program, most likely the placements will be within its local area. Also keep in mind that if you enroll in an out-of-state school, or even out of area for many community colleges, the tuition costs as a non-resident may be higher.
How large are the classes? Ask the schools you are considering on average how large their classes are. Smaller classes usually provide more access to teachers when students have questions or need extra help. In contrast, larger classes tend to be more impersonal and limit one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of the classes before enrolling so that you can experience the level of interaction between students and instructors.
What is the Program’s total cost? CNA training and tuition can vary not only among schools, but from state to state depending on certification requirements. In addition to tuition, there are other costs such as commuting expenses, textbooks and other materials. When comparing schools remember to include all costs required for your education. If you do decide to attend an online school, some of the expenses may be reduced. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available in the West Helena AR area.
Can the Program accommodate your Schedule? Finally, you will need to make sure that the program you select offers classes at a time that you can attend. If you are still working and need to attend classes at night or on weekends near West Helena AR, make sure they are available. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend classes online, you will still need to confirm when clinical training hours are offered. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or other obligations.
Considering CNA Classes near West Helena AR?
Helena–West Helena, Arkansas
Helena–West Helena is the county seat of and the largest city within Phillips County, Arkansas, United States. The current city was consolidated, effective January 1, 2006, from the two Arkansas cities of Helena and West Helena. Helena is sited on lowlands between the Mississippi River and the eastern side of Crowley's Ridge. West Helena is located on the western side of Crowley's Ridge, a geographic anomaly in the typically flat Arkansas Delta. The Helena Bridge, one of Arkansas' four Mississippi River bridges, carries U.S. Route 49 across to Mississippi. The combined population of the two cities was 15,012 at the 2000 census and at the 2010 census, the official population was 12,282.
The municipality traces its historical roots to the founding of the port town of Helena on the Mississippi River by European Americans in 1833. As the county seat, Helena was the center of a prosperous cotton plantation region in the antebellum years. Helena was occupied by the Union Army early in the American Civil War. The city was the site of the Battle of Helena fought in 1863. Confederate forces unsuccessfully tried to expel Union forces from Helena in order to help relieve pressure on the strategic river town of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Later in the year, Helena served as the launching point for the Union Army in the capture of Little Rock, the state capital.
A thriving blues community developed here in the 1940s and 1950s as rural musicians relocated for city jobs. Mechanization had reduced the need for farm workers. The city continued to grow until the closing of the Mohawk Rubber Company, a subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber Company, in the 1970s. Unemployment surged shortly after.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training near West Helena AR
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant school is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select a CNA college and program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in West Helena AR.
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