How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Assistant College near Alabaster Alabama
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 Alabaster AL. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you pick the best course to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many future students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a program requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those issues together with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Alabaster AL hospitals, practices and other health care facilities 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 guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Alabaster AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Alabaster AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Alabaster AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household commitments 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 hectic schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important member of any Alabaster AL medical team. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that she or he works for. CNAs also help with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who love to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Alabaster AL area, it may help in securing 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Alabaster AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are considering 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Alabaster AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Alabaster AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the right certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Alabaster AL.