How to Pick the Right CNA Training Classes near West des Moines Iowa
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 classes near West des Moines IA. Once you have achieved your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the United States. Though it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it’s essential that you pick the right program to acquire the proper training and education. A number of future 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 CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a school entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally 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 to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the West des Moines IA hospitals, practices and other health care 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 perform under the direction and management 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 responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking patient’s vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in West des Moines IA nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA’s knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at West des Moines IA vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential 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 recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in West des Moines IA. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the West des Moines IA area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Iowa school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some West des Moines IA 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the West des Moines IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with local West des Moines IA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Attending CNA Classes Near West des Moines Iowa?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA School in the West des Moines IA area, the following article may provide some interesting and helpful information about the location of your new school campus.
West Des Moines, Iowa
West Des Moines is a city in Polk, Dallas, and Warren counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 56,609. West Des Moines is the second-largest city in the Des Moines metropolitan area and the tenth-largest city in Iowa. It ranked 94th in Money magazine's list of the "100 Best Places to Live and Launch" in 2008, 77th and 57th on the 100 Best Places to Live in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and 18th on the Hipster Cities of 2015.
The West Des Moines area used to be home to the Sac and Fox tribes. Near the stroke of midnight on October 11, 1845 a gunshot was fired by a cattle farmer, James Cunningham Jordan (1813–1893) and the tribes left. His residence, the Jordan House, has been restored and is now home to the West Des Moines Historical Society. In West Des Moines' early years, the town was a trading and shipping junction. West Des Moines incorporated as the city of Valley Junction on October 9, 1893.
In its early days Valley Junction was home to the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad's switching facilities and repair shops due to its location at the junction of several railroad lines. The Rock Island's facilities moved out of Valley Junction and back into Des Moines in 1936.
Select the Right CNA School near West des Moines IA
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. One of the reasons you stopped by our website was due to an interest in Nursing Assistant Education. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in West des Moines IA.
More Nursing Locations in Iowa