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

Auburn AL Certified Nursing Assistant taking patient's vital signsOnce 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. Once you have earned your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Even though it might seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you select the best school to acquire the proper training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence before picking a program involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects as well as various 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 type of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of a Nursing Assistant

Auburn AL CNA greeting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Auburn AL hospitals, practices 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 function under the direction 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 duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:

  • Furnishing basic services to patients
  • Reading patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Conveying 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 helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Auburn AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as 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 Training

Auburn AL woman taking CNA online trainingEnrolling in CNA schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Auburn AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain 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 accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Colleges

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist 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 decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium 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 differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch 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 services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, 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 speak with 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 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 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 good reputation within the Auburn AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Auburn AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Learn How to Choose a CNA School

Choose the Right Nurse Assistant School

Selecting the best certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select 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 create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Auburn AL.