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CNA Certification Training Classes Dothan AL


How to Select the Best Nursing Assistant Classes near Dothan Alabama

Dothan AL CNA taking man's blood pressureNow 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 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 growing positions in healthcare within the United States. Although it might seem like a daunting task, it's important that you pick the ideal program to receive the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects along with a few 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 instruction and credentials that are available.

The Job of a CNA

Dothan AL Certified Nursing Assistant assisting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Dothan AL hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Providing basic services to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other areas

CNAs can also work in Dothan AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Schools

Dothan AL woman attending online CNA coursesEnrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

What to Ask CNA Degree Programs

Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Dothan AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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.  Many 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 outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Dothan AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Dothan AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Choose the Right CNA School

Dothan AL CNA with assisted living residentPicking the ideal certified nursing assistant college is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final 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.