How to Choose the Best CNA School near Florence Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Florence AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing positions in health care within the USA. Though it may seem like a challenging task, it's important that you pick the best program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to picking a program requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects along 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Florence AL hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Florence AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for extended periods of time. Often, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Florence AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 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 own requirements. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA classes online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Florence AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital part of any Florence AL medical organization. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that she or he works for. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically strenuous, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who like to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education and employment in the Florence AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Florence 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 programs 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Florence AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant college is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Florence AL.