How to Pick the Best Nursing Assistant College near Daphne Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Daphne AL. Once you have earned your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the Country. Although it might seem like a challenging undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the ideal course to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues as well as various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Daphne AL hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Daphne AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Frequently, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Daphne AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to 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 amount of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more popular way to get 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 call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What 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 guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education and employment in the Daphne AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit 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 as well. Also, get in touch 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 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 dissatisfied 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 superb 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 get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Daphne AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best CNA Training
Picking the best certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Daphne AL.