How to Choose the Best Nursing Assistant School near Bessemer Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Bessemer AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in medical care within the Country. Though it might seem like a challenging task, it's imperative that you pick the right school to receive the necessary training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a training course requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects together with several 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Bessemer AL hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Bessemer AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extended periods of time. Often, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Bessemer 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Enrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Bessemer AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some 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 economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous 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 workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Bessemer AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Bessemer 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate 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 obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Bessemer AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant School
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Bessemer AL.