How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School near Dothan Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Dothan AL. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Even though it might seem like an overwhelming task, it's important that you pick the right program to acquire the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a program consists of much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects together with a few 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 kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Dothan AL hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. 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 direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Dothan AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Dothan AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Dothan 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 looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Dothan AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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 requirements for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Dothan AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick 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 CNA in Dothan AL.