How to Find the Best CNA School near Athens Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Athens AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the Country. Though it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the right course to obtain the necessary training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a school entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Athens AL hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Athens AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. Frequently, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Athens AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA schools online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Athens AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding 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 lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a critical member of any Athens AL medical team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the direct care of patients or residents of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she works for. CNAs also help 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 team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. 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 pick compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Athens AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find 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 schools 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Athens AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Athens AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA Training
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Athens AL.