How to Find the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School near Phenix City Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Phenix City AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the United States. Even though it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it's essential that you choose the best course to obtain the proper training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Phenix City AL hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management 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 diverse, 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
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Phenix City AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. Often, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Phenix City AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 sure that the education 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 may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more popular way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Phenix City AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school 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 lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if 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 a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely 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 final selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education and employment in the Phenix City AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Phenix City 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 colleges you are looking at 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 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 Phenix City AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Training
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant school is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you select a CNA school 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 produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Phenix City AL.