How to Pick the Best CNA Classes 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 searching for CNA classes near Florence AL. Once you have earned your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Though it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the ideal school to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those topics along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Florence AL hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Florence AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extensive time frames. In many cases, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Florence AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Florence AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is an important component of any Florence AL medical team. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. 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 observations 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 strenuous, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work 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 job for people who love to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that 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 guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Florence AL area, it may help in securing 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 completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Florence AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Florence AL.