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How to Choose the Right Nursing Assistant Training Program near Auburn Alabama

Auburn AL Certified Nursing Assistant taking patient's vital signsNow that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Auburn AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it might seem like a challenging task, it's imperative that you pick the right school to obtain the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.

The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Auburn AL Nursing Assistant assisting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Auburn AL hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:

  • Furnishing basic care to patients
  • Reading patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other areas

CNAs can also practice in Auburn AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. 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 help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extended time frames. Frequently, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Auburn AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates 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 woman attending online CNA trainingEnrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Auburn AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Schools

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous 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 manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.

  • 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education and employment in the Auburn AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 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 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 contacts to help students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually 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 assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Pick the Right CNA Training

Auburn AL CNA with assisted living patientEnrolling in the best certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Auburn AL.