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How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Enterprise Alabama

Enterprise AL CNA taking man's vital signsNow that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Enterprise AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the USA. Though it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the best course to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Enterprise AL Nursing Assistant greeting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Enterprise AL hospitals, practices and other medical organizations 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 supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:

  • Administering basic care to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Moving patients to other rooms

CNAs may also work in Enterprise 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 identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity 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 Training

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Enterprise AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

CNA Online Classes

Enterprise AL student attending online CNA trainingAttending CNA classes online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Enterprise AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Why Become a CNA?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical part of any Enterprise AL medical team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their feedback about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.

Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes

What to Ask Enterprise AL CNA programsNow that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education and employment in the Enterprise AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often 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.  Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Enterprise AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Enterprise AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Enterprise AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Choose the Right CNA Program

Enterprise AL CNA with nursing home residentDeciding on the right certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Enterprise AL.