How to Find the Right CNA Course near Florence Alabama
Once 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. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the United States. Though it may seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you pick the right school to obtain 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 at home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. 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 to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Florence AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining 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 practice in Florence AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extended time frames. In many cases, they can become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Florence AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to 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 Programs
Enrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Florence AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. 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 essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Florence AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria 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 completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. 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 contact 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 schools you are looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative 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 help students obtain 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Training
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you select a CNA school 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 shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Florence AL.