How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Prattville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Prattville AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a difficult endeavor, it's essential that you select the ideal course to obtain the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be pondering 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 completing your due diligence prior to choosing a program involves much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Prattville AL hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Prattville AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they often remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Prattville AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with 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. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA classes online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Prattville AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education and employment in the Prattville AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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. Some states require a certain 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 satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Prattville 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Prattville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Prattville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA School
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Prattville AL.