How to Find the Best Nursing Assistant Training Program 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 classes near Huntsville AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it might seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you choose the right course to obtain the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most basic 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 completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Huntsville AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Huntsville AL vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA training online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Huntsville AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is an important component of any Huntsville AL healthcare team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the direct care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that he or she works for. CNAs also help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend 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 physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for those who love to keep busy and help people while treating them with dignity and respect.
Questions to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education and employment in the Huntsville AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Huntsville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA School
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Huntsville AL.