How to Choose the Best CNA Program near Bessemer Alabama
Once 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 training programs near Bessemer AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a difficult undertaking, it's imperative that you select the ideal program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be pondering 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 doing your due diligence before picking a training course entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Bessemer AL hospitals, practices and other healthcare facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Bessemer AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the appropriate 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 received at community colleges or at Bessemer AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 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 requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain 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 center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important member of any Bessemer AL healthcare team. As a matter of fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who love to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education and employment in the Bessemer AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Bessemer AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Bessemer AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant school is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick 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.