How to Choose the Best Nursing Assistant Training Program near Huntsville Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Huntsville AL. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it might seem like a daunting task, it's important that you select the right program to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a school involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues along with various other questions that you need to 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 kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Huntsville AL hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Huntsville AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extensive time frames. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due 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 CoursesIn contrast to many 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 just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the training 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and attain 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 completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education and employment in the Huntsville AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check 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. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out 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 opinions 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 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 superb reputation within the Huntsville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many 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 assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant school is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Huntsville AL.