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How to Select the Right CNA School near Auburn Alabama

Auburn AL CNA taking patient's blood pressureNow that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Auburn AL. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the Country. Even though it may well seem like a daunting task, it's essential that you pick the best program to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Auburn AL Nursing Assistant greeting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Auburn AL hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:

  • Furnishing basic services to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transporting patients to other rooms

CNAs may also work in Auburn AL nursing homes or long term care centers. 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 individuals perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Courses

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Auburn 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 requirements. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 additional prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Training

Auburn AL student taking online CNA trainingAttending CNA training online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Auburn AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

What to Ask CNA Programs

Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, 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 in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • 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 Auburn AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Auburn 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 programs 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Auburn AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Auburn AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Choose the Best Nurse Assistant School

Auburn AL CNA with assisted living patientPicking the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Auburn AL.