How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Assistant School near Enterprise Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Enterprise AL. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the United States. Even though it might seem like an overwhelming task, it's important that you pick the right course to receive the proper training and education. Many future 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 from home. More concerning that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a program consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Enterprise AL hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management 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 responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Enterprise AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extended time periods. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Enterprise 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 obtain 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 every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 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 may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Enterprise AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education and employment in the Enterprise AL area, it may help in acquiring 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Enterprise 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Enterprise AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Enterprise AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA School
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Enterprise AL.