How to Find the Best CNA School near Homewood Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Homewood AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the Country. Though it may well seem like a challenging endeavor, it's essential that you choose the ideal school to acquire the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a school requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those subjects as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Homewood AL hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Homewood AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Homewood AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Homewood AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school 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 part of any Homewood AL medical team. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of residents or patients of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she works for. CNAs also help with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many 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 manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education and employment in the Homewood AL area, it may help in acquiring 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Homewood 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Homewood AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Homewood AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA Program
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant school is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick 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 Homewood AL.