How to Choose the Best 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 searching for CNA training classes near East Florence AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing positions in healthcare within the Country. Although it may seem like a daunting endeavor, it's essential that you select the ideal school to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most basic 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 program and attend them at home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those subjects together with several other questions that you need to 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 Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the East Florence AL hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in East Florence 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 identified as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at East Florence AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in East Florence AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A CNA is a critical part of any East Florence AL medical organization. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she works for. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education and employment in the East Florence AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 programs 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the East Florence AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby East Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant School
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 certified nursing assistant in East Florence AL.