How to Select the Best CNA College near Florence Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Florence AL. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the USA. Although it may seem like an overwhelming task, it's essential that you choose the right school to receive the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a program requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues along with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Florence AL hospitals, practices and other health facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Florence AL nursing homes or long term care centers. 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 people perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Florence AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Florence AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a vital member of any Florence AL medical organization. In fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right profession for people who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education and employment in the Florence AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, 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 speak with some Florence AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 superb reputation within the Florence AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- 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 mandates for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Florence AL.