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How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Auburn Alabama

Auburn AL Nursing Assistant taking patient's blood pressureNow that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Auburn AL. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the United States. Although it might seem like a challenging task, it's important that you choose the ideal school to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a program involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects as well as several 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 Function of a Nursing Assistant

Auburn AL CNA greeting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Auburn AL hospitals, practices and other healthcare facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:

  • Furnishing basic services to patients
  • Checking 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 areas

CNAs might also practice in Auburn AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extended time periods. In many cases, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain 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 one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

Online CNA Training

Auburn AL student taking online CNA trainingAttending CNA training online is growing into a more popular way to obtain 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 require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Should You Become a CNA?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical member of any Auburn AL medical organization. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the direct care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and moving 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 perfect job for people who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.

Questions to Ask CNA Programs

What to Ask Auburn AL CNA schoolsNow that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education and employment in the Auburn AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often 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.  Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, 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 judgements 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 displeased 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 Auburn AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Auburn AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Program

Auburn AL CNA with assisted living patientChoosing the ideal certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Auburn AL.