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How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Dothan Alabama

Dothan AL Certified Nursing Assistant taking patient's blood pressureNow that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Dothan AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the Country. Even though it may seem like an overwhelming task, it's imperative that you select the right school to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many potential students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a school consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those issues 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 talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Dothan AL Nursing Assistant helping patient

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties 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 rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Administering basic services to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Moving patients to other rooms

CNAs may also work in Dothan AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Frequently, they can become the pipeline 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 preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Certificates

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Programs

Dothan AL woman taking CNA online trainingAttending CNA classes online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A CNA is a vital part of any Dothan AL healthcare organization. In fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right profession for people who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with dignity and respect.

Questions to Ask CNA Programs

Questions to Ask Dothan AL CNA training programsNow that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see 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 Dothan 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 are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Dothan AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Dothan AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Pick the Best Nurse Assistant School

Dothan AL Nursing Assistant with assisted living patientChoosing the best certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Dothan AL.