How to Enroll In the Best CNA Course near Opelika 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 training programs near Opelika AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a complicated task, it's imperative that you choose the right program to acquire the appropriate 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 also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a school involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Opelika AL hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking 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 areas
CNAs might also work in Opelika AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Opelika AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain 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 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Opelika AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. 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). So if your job and family 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 busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Opelika AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 contact some Opelika AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs 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 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 superb reputation within the Opelika AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Opelika AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare 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 ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Opelika AL.