How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College near Daphne 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 Daphne AL. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the USA. Though it might seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the ideal program to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Daphne AL hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Daphne AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Daphne AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 Classes
Enrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Daphne AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Daphne AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers 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 online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Daphne 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Daphne AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Daphne AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Daphne AL.