How to Choose a CNA Training Program near Santa Clarita California
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it’s time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Santa Clarita CA. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Even though it might seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it’s essential that you choose the right course to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start 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 program and attend them at home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence before choosing a program requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those subjects together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let’s discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Santa Clarita CA hospitals, clinics and other healthcare 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 function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Measuring patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Santa Clarita CA nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized 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 extended periods of time. Often, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA’s expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Santa Clarita CA vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain 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 tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more popular way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Santa Clarita CA. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 responsibilities have left you with very 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.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout California and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Santa Clarita CA area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for California or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the California school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Santa Clarita CA 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 programs you are looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Santa Clarita CA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Santa Clarita CA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in CNA Classes Near Santa Clarita California?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Santa Clarita CA area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Santa Clarita, California
Santa Clarita, officially the City of Santa Clarita, is the third largest city in Los Angeles County, California, and the 24th largest in the state of California. The city has annexed a number of unincorporated areas, contributing to the large population increase. It is located about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and occupies most of the Santa Clarita Valley. It is a notable example of a U.S. edge city or boomburb. Santa Clarita was ranked by Money magazine in 2006 as 18th of the top 100 places to live.
Santa Clarita was incorporated in December 1987 as the union of four unincorporated communities, Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and Valencia, most of which are situated on the land of the former Rancho San Francisco. The four communities retain separate identities, and it is common for residents to refer to a specific neighborhood when asked where they are from. Santa Clarita is bounded on the west by the Golden State Freeway (I-5). The Antelope Valley Freeway (SR-14) runs northeast-southwest through an irregular east border, and the Newhall Pass is the city's southernmost point.
The Santa Clara River was named by Spanish explorers for Clare of Assisi. The valley and the settlement later became known as "little Santa Clara" in deference to the Northern California mission and city of Santa Clara, California. In time, "little Santa Clara" became "Santa Clarita."
Select the Right CNA Training near Santa Clarita CA
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Santa Clarita CA.
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