How to Find the Right Nursing Assistant College near Huntsville Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Huntsville AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a challenging endeavor, it's essential that you select the best course to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a training course requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues along with 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 available.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare 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 direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Huntsville 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 individuals perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they can end up being the conduit 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 a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Huntsville AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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 course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Huntsville AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many 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 easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as 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 no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 ensure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Huntsville AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers 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. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Huntsville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the right certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Huntsville AL.