How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Assistant College near Montgomery Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Montgomery AL. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the Country. Even though it may seem like a complicated endeavor, it's important that you choose the right school to acquire the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to 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 covering those issues as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Montgomery AL hospitals, clinics and other medical 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 management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Montgomery AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Montgomery AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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 certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Enrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Montgomery AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important part of any Montgomery AL healthcare team. In fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of patients or residents of the medical agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who like to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably 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 choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Montgomery AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Montgomery 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Montgomery AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Montgomery AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA School
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Montgomery AL.