How to Find the Best Nursing Assistant Classes near Athens Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Athens AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the Country. Although it may well seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's essential that you select the ideal program to receive the proper training and education. Many future students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a program entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics together with various other questions that you need to 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 Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Athens AL hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision 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 environment might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Athens AL 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 identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Athens AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three 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 must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Athens AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount 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 convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital member of any Athens AL healthcare team. In fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the direct care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency 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 comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time 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 while treating them with dignity and respect.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with 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 probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Athens AL area, it may assist in securing 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 assessments 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable 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 best 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Athens AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA School
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Athens AL.