How to Choose the Best Nursing Assistant Classes near Bessemer Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Bessemer AL. Once you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Even though it might seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you select the ideal course to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before picking a training course consists of much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those subjects as well as a few other questions that you should 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 type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Bessemer AL hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Bessemer 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 most individuals carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Bessemer AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 Schools
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Bessemer AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education and employment in the Bessemer AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bessemer 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 schools 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Bessemer AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Bessemer AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Program
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 Bessemer AL.