How to Enroll In the Best CNA Program near Decatur Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Decatur AL. After you have earned your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in medical care within the USA. Although it might seem like a complicated endeavor, it's important that you pick the best course to acquire the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering 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 completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those topics together with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Decatur AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Decatur AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Decatur AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more popular way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Decatur AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a vital member of any Decatur AL medical team. As a matter of fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who like to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Decatur AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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. Many states require a specified 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 prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Decatur AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Decatur AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Decatur AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick 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 Decatur AL.