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How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Bessemer Alabama

Bessemer AL Nursing Assistant taking patient's blood pressureOnce 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. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the Country. Although it might seem like a difficult undertaking, it's imperative that you select the ideal school to obtain the necessary training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those issues together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.

The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Bessemer AL CNA helping man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions 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 instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Providing basic services to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other rooms

CNAs may also practice in Bessemer 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 characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Courses

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Bessemer AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain 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 suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Training

Bessemer AL woman attending CNA online coursesEnrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Bessemer AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Why Become a CNA?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital component of any Bessemer AL healthcare organization. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with respect and dignity.

What to Ask CNA Colleges

Questions to Ask Bessemer AL CNA programsNow that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Bessemer AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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.  Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check 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 judgements are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools you are looking at 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 dissatisfied 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 medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Bessemer AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Pick the Best CNA School

Bessemer AL Nursing Assistant with assisted living patientDeciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select 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 CNA in Bessemer AL.