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How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Daphne Alabama

Daphne AL Certified Nursing Assistant taking man's vital signsNow that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Daphne AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the Country. Even though it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it's essential that you choose the right program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that option later. But performing your due diligence before picking a program consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register 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 offered.

The Job of a Nursing Assistant

Daphne AL Nursing Assistant assisting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Daphne AL hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may 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 aiding patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other rooms

CNAs can also practice in Daphne AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Daphne AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 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 may be other requirements as well.

CNA Online Schools

Daphne AL woman attending CNA online trainingAttending CNA training online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Daphne AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Programs

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Daphne AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 colleges you are looking at 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Daphne AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Daphne AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Learn How to Choose a CNA School

Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Training

Selecting the best certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Daphne AL.