How to Pick the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Phenix City Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Phenix City AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the United States. Even though it may seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you choose the best school to acquire the proper training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a program involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics together with various other questions that you should 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 type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Phenix City 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 perform under the guidance and oversight 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 numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic care 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 areas
CNAs may also work in Phenix City AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Phenix City AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimum period of instruction mandated and that 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 likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Phenix City AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality 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 prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 programs 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Phenix City AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- 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 mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Program
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Phenix City AL.