How to Pick the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College near East Florence Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near East Florence AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Though it might seem like a challenging endeavor, it's important that you choose the best program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues together with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the East Florence AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in East Florence 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 defined as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at East Florence AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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 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 can be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in East Florence AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component 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 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. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the East Florence AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some East Florence 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the East Florence AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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 prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby East Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in East Florence AL.