How to Choose the Best Nursing Assistant College near Huntsville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Huntsville AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Though it may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's essential that you select the right school to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to picking a training course involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Huntsville AL hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Huntsville AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extensive time frames. Frequently, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Huntsville AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA training online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Huntsville AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family commitments 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 Training Classes
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 verify that you obtain a quality 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 prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check 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 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 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 verify 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 environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant program is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Huntsville AL.