How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Dothan Alabama
Once you have decided to enter 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 earned your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the United States. Although it might seem like a complicated endeavor, it's essential that you choose the best program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a training course requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics along with several other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Dothan AL hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since 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 assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying 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 engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise 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 received at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 make sure that you get a premium education and employment in the Dothan AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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. Some states require a certain 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 satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Dothan AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Dothan AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Dothan AL.