How to Enroll In the Right CNA Program near East Florence Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near East Florence AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the United States. Even though it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's important that you pick the ideal school to acquire the necessary training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a school requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the East Florence AL hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in East Florence AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at East Florence AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 period of training required and that each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in East Florence AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the East Florence AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews 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 find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 colleges 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 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 verify that the school has a good 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 setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby East Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA Training
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in East Florence AL.