How to Pick the Best CNA College near Homewood Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Homewood AL. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the United States. Even though it might seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you pick the right course to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a program entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those issues as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Homewood AL hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping 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 helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they usually reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Often, they can end up being the channel 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 appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Homewood AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course 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 prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive 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 specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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). And so if your job and household obligations 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 busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so 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 factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Homewood AL area, it may help 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out 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 assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Homewood AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Homewood AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Training
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant school is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you choose a CNA school 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 create 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 drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Homewood AL.