To help with that decision, here are some things to look for as you learn about schools that may be the right fit for you.
Research the School’s Reputation
A good first step is to research the school’s reputation.
Visit the school’s website and social media pages. Read student testimonials and online reviews. If you know somebody who works in healthcare, you can ask for their views on the school.
Of course no school can please all of its students all of the time. When you’re reading online reviews, you’ll probably see some negative reviews among the positive reviews.
However, look to see that the majority of the online reviews you read show that students have had a good experience attending the school. And that the the school is also responding to negative student reviews in a constructive and helpful way.
Given all that you learn, ask yourself: does the school give you the confidence that you’ll be in good hands?
Check the Nursing Assistant Course Is Approved
When you graduate, you don’t want employers doubting the quality of your training. Choosing a nursing assistant school that runs an approved course ensures future employers will respect your education. It will also prove you’re a healthcare professional qualified to take on the demands of the job.
With this in mind, it’s important to check the school’s course is approved and meets or exceeds minimum quality standards. In the state of California, for example, the State Department of Public Health oversees programs, reviewing the curriculum and scrutinizing and counting the hours spent on each topic.
In California, approved training provides a licensed program director and instructor, both of whom will have at least 2-years experience working at a skilled nursing facility. Additionally, the program will provide 100-hours clinical training (giving you hands-on, real-life experience) and 50-hours theory training.
A school providing more than the minimum number of program hours means they’re making the effort to go above and beyond in preparing their students for a nursing assistant career. However, avoid programs demanding an excessive amount of training hours from its students, which can be unnecessary and increase tuition costs for you.
Is the Nursing Assistant Training Job-Oriented?
Do the nursing assistant schools you’re researching offer training that’s job-oriented? Is there a good mixture of classroom and practical training necessary for preparing you for working in long-term patient care facilities, home healthcare, hospitals, and other medical facilities?
A nursing assistant course curriculum will usually cover taking patients’ vital signs, temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rate; keeping patient records in terms of fluid intake and output; assisting patients with grooming and personal hygiene; assisting residents with feeding and proper nutrition; and working with residents on range-of-motion exercises and movements.
With job-oriented training like this you’ll learn the skills you need to excel during the offsite training portion of your course. And you’ll be ready start working as a Certified Nursing Assistant from day one on the job.
Ask About Job Search Support
Although a school can’t guarantee employment to its graduates (and be wary of schools that make this claim), the school should offer comprehensives career services support.
For instance, does the school offer resume and interview assistance? Does the school maintain strong relationships with local healthcare employers building a ‘job pipeline’ for its graduates.
When you graduate, you don’t want to feel like you’re alone and looking for work. You want to feel like you’re part of a team.
Choosing a Nursing Assistant School Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
There are many things in your life that you research before making a commitment, and choosing a nursing assistant school shouldn’t be any different.
However, your final decision doesn’t have be overwhelming, even with all the healthcare schools clamoring for your attention.
All it takes is for you to take a few simple steps in checking that the schools you’re considering will give you what you need on your journey to becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant.