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How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Hoover Alabama

Hoover AL Nursing Assistant taking patient's blood pressureNow that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Hoover AL. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the Country. Even though it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's essential that you pick the right school to obtain the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating 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 completing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects along with various 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of a CNA

Hoover AL CNA helping patient

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Hoover AL hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:

  • Furnishing basic care to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Moving patients to other rooms

CNAs can also practice in Hoover AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Certificates

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Hoover AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 sure that the education is state approved. As well as 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.

CNA Online Classes

Hoover AL student taking online CNA classesAttending CNA programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Hoover AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. 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, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A CNA is a critical component of any Hoover AL medical organization. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of patients or residents of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work 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 patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.

Things to Ask CNA Training Programs

What to Ask Hoover AL CNA programsNow that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education and employment in the Hoover AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Hoover 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 colleges you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Hoover AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Hoover AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Pick the Right CNA Training

Hoover AL Nursing Assistant with nursing home patientPicking the best certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Hoover AL.