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How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Daphne Alabama

Daphne AL CNA taking man's blood pressureNow 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 programs near Daphne AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in health care within the Country. Though it might seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you select the ideal course to obtain the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects together with a few other questions that you should 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of a Nursing Assistant

Daphne AL Nursing Assistant helping man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Daphne AL hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Furnishing basic care to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other areas

CNAs may also work in Daphne AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain 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 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 directed and each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary 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 recommendation 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Programs

Daphne AL student taking CNA online trainingAttending CNA schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Daphne AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs

Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.

  • 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Daphne AL area, it may assist in acquiring 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.  Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, 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 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 schools 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Daphne AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local Daphne AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Choose the Right CNA Training

Daphne AL Nursing Assistant with assisted living residentEnrolling in the right certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Daphne AL.