How to Pick the Best CNA College 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 finding CNA training programs near Phenix City AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the USA. Although it might seem like a daunting task, it's important that you pick the ideal program to receive the necessary training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental 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 program and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a program involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register 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 available.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Phenix City AL hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Phenix City AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Phenix City AL vocational or trade schools. The length 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 required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to 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 Classes
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Phenix City AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical member of any Phenix City AL healthcare team. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. 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 depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically challenging, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend most 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 like to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education and employment in the Phenix City AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find 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 opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are considering 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 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 Phenix City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best 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 requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA Training
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical 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 CNA in Phenix City AL.