How to Find the Right Nursing Assistant Course near Dothan Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Dothan AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in medical care within the USA. Though it may seem like a daunting undertaking, it's essential that you select the ideal program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of future 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 completing your due diligence prior to choosing a school entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics as well as various other questions that you should 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 offered.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Dothan AL hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they are employed. 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 supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Dothan AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 receive an excellent education and employment in the Dothan AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. 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 speak with 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 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 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 good reputation within the Dothan AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Dothan AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA School
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Dothan AL.