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How to Pick the Right Nursing Assistant Training Program near Homewood Alabama

Homewood AL Nursing Assistant taking patient's blood pressureOnce you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Homewood AL. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it may seem like a daunting undertaking, it's essential that you select the right program to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a school entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those issues as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a Nursing Assistant

Homewood AL Certified Nursing Assistant greeting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Homewood AL hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead 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 prime job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:

  • Providing basic services to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs might also practice in Homewood AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Homewood AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Classes

Homewood AL student taking online CNA trainingAttending CNA programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Homewood AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs

Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose 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 probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Homewood AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Homewood 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 looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Homewood AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local Homewood AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Learn How to Choose a CNA School

Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Training

Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 Homewood AL.