How to Find the Right Nursing Assistant School near Daphne Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter 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 attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the United States. Although it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you choose the right school to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost 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 doing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly 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 instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Daphne AL hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty 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 care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Daphne AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some 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 length of the training 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to 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.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Daphne AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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 obligations have left you with very little 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 busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Daphne AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find 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 programs you are looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Daphne AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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 requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Daphne AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Daphne AL.