How to Select the Best CNA Classes near Bessemer Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Bessemer AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in medical care within the USA. Even though it might seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you select the right program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a program entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those issues together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, 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
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Bessemer AL hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Bessemer AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Bessemer 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as 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 Programs
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Bessemer AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from 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 provided 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 completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Bessemer AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Bessemer AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Bessemer AL.