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How to Select the Best Nursing Assistant School near Daphne Alabama

Daphne AL Nursing Assistant taking patient's vital signsOnce you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Daphne AL. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in medical care within the USA. Although it might seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the right school to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues along with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.

The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Daphne AL CNA assisting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Daphne AL hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:

  • Administering basic care to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Moving patients to other areas

CNAs may also practice in Daphne AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Frequently, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Certificates

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Daphne AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimal amount of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.

CNA Online Schools

Daphne AL student taking online CNA trainingAttending CNA schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Daphne AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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). Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward 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.

Why Become a CNA?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical part of any Daphne AL medical organization. As a matter of fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that he or she works for. CNAs also help with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who like to keep busy and help people while treating them with dignity and respect.

Things to Ask CNA Courses

Questions to Ask Daphne AL CNA training programsOnce you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Daphne AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, 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 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 considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate 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 obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Daphne AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant School

Daphne AL Nursing Assistant with nursing home patientEnrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant school is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Daphne AL.