How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Huntsville Alabama
Now 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 classes near Huntsville AL. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in health care within the Country. Although it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it's essential that you pick the best course to acquire the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also 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 completing your due diligence prior to selecting a school consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those issues together with various other questions that you should 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 type of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services 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
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Huntsville AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Huntsville AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA classes online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Huntsville AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. 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 many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, 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 to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education and employment in the Huntsville AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Huntsville 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 programs you are considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Huntsville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA School
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Huntsville AL.