How to Select the Best Nursing Assistant Program near Huntsville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Huntsville AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the USA. Although it may well seem like a difficult endeavor, it's important that you pick the ideal school to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a program entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects as well as various 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 offered.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Huntsville AL hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Huntsville AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined 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 commonly reside in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Huntsville AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with 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 certain that the training 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 may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training 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 specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with 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 undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 get a quality education and employment in the Huntsville AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different 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 an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important 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 assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Program
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Huntsville AL.