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How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Auburn Alabama

Auburn AL Nursing Assistant taking patient's vital signsOnce you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Auburn AL. After you have achieved your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the Country. Though it may well seem like a challenging endeavor, it's essential that you select the ideal program to receive the proper training and education. Many potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to picking a program entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing 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 discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Auburn AL CNA greeting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Auburn AL hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. As indicated by 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 oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Administering basic services to patients
  • Checking patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other areas

CNAs might also work in Auburn AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Auburn AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Schools

Auburn AL student attending CNA online trainingEnrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Auburn AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for 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 option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A CNA is an important member of any Auburn AL healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority 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 those who like to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.

What to Ask CNA Training Classes

What to Ask Auburn AL CNA programsNow that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Auburn AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a specific 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 meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Auburn 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 Auburn AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Auburn AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best CNA Program

Auburn AL CNA with assisted living patientDeciding on the best certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Auburn AL.