How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Huntsville Alabama
Once 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. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in health care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a challenging undertaking, it's important that you pick the right school to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a training course consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues together with several other questions that you should 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 type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Huntsville AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Huntsville AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Huntsville AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Huntsville AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Huntsville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant school is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Huntsville AL.