How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School near Auburn Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Auburn AL. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Though it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the right program 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 may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those issues as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Auburn AL hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Auburn AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Auburn AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course 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 may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Auburn AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Auburn AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important 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. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Auburn AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Auburn AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best CNA Training
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant program is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Auburn AL.