How to Find the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Athens Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Athens AL. Once you have earned your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in health care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a challenging task, it's important that you choose the right school to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a program involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Athens AL hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might 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
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Athens AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Athens AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. 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 emerging as a more popular way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Athens AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical part of any Athens AL medical organization. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that he or she works for. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their 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 right profession for people who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat 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 web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education and employment in the Athens AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Athens AL 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 displeased 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 Athens AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Athens AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA School
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Athens AL.