How to Select the Best Nursing Assistant School near Phenix City Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Phenix City AL. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in health care within the United States. Although it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the ideal school to obtain the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most essential 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 from home. More concerning that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a training course involves much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Phenix City AL hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Phenix City AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they can become the pipeline 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 an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Phenix City AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in 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 must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Phenix City AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical part of any Phenix City AL medical team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he works for. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in 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 vital signs, tests, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right profession for people who love to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines 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 important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education and employment in the Phenix City AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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. Many 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 exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch 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 schools 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 favorable reputation within the Phenix City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best CNA Training
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Phenix City AL.