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CNA Certification Training Classes Dothan AL


How to Select the Right CNA College near Dothan Alabama

Dothan AL CNA taking man's vital signsNow that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Dothan AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the USA. Even though it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's important that you select the right program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to picking a training course entails much 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 addressing those subjects along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll 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 available.

The Job of a CNA

Dothan AL Nursing Assistant greeting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Dothan AL hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:

  • Providing basic care to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other areas

CNAs may also practice in Dothan AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Frequently, they can become 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 an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.

Online CNA Schools

Dothan AL student taking online CNA coursesEnrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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). And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Schools

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Dothan AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary 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 excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm 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 ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of 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 help with the placing of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best CNA Training

Dothan AL Nursing Assistant with nursing home patientPicking the right certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Dothan AL.