How to Pick the Best CNA Classes near Dothan Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Dothan AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in health care within the Country. Though it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it's imperative that you choose the ideal course to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a training course entails far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk 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 are responsible for many tasks in the Dothan AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they are employed. 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. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Dothan AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting 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 bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a critical member of any Dothan AL medical organization. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that she or he works for. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their 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 right job for people who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous 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 workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education and employment in the Dothan AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements 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 performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, 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 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Dothan AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Dothan AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Program
Picking the right certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Dothan AL.