How to Choose the Right CNA Training Program near Florence Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Florence AL. After you have earned your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the USA. Although it may well seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you select the ideal school to acquire the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be pondering 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 performing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be covering those topics as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you register 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 available.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Florence AL hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Florence AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. In many cases, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to some 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 just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 period of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more favored way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Florence AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A CNA is a vital component of any Florence AL healthcare team. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for people who love to keep busy and help people while treating them with dignity and respect.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Florence AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Florence AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant School
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Florence AL.