How to Select the Right CNA Classes near Montgomery Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Montgomery AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a challenging endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the best school to obtain the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. 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 to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Montgomery AL hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight 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:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Montgomery 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 characterized as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Montgomery AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Montgomery AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a critical part of any Montgomery AL medical team. As a matter of fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for those who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout 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 along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education and employment in the Montgomery AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Montgomery 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 complete 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Montgomery AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Montgomery AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best CNA Program
Picking the right certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using 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 ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Montgomery AL.