How to Select the Best CNA School 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 start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Dothan AL. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a complicated undertaking, it's essential that you select the right school to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most basic 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 course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a program involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those issues together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, 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 carry out many functions in the Dothan AL hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead 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 prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Dothan AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extended 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 relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the 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 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A CNA is a vital component of any Dothan AL medical organization. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the direct care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical 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 people who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
What to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Dothan AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, 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 contact some Dothan AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Dothan AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Dothan AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Dothan AL.