How to Select the Right CNA School near Huntsville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Huntsville AL. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in medical care within the United States. Although it might seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you select the right program to acquire the proper training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a program entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those subjects as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Huntsville AL hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime 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:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Huntsville AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Frequently, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships 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 CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Huntsville AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA classes online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Huntsville AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach 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 choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital member of any Huntsville AL healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their 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 while treating them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start 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 essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Huntsville AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 finish 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 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 most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Ask 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 Best CNA Program
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Huntsville AL.