How to Choose the Right CNA School near Prattville Alabama
Now that 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 Prattville AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in healthcare within the Country. Though it might seem like a challenging undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the right course to obtain the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a training course involves much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Prattville AL hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Prattville AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. Frequently, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Prattville AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as 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 classes online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Prattville AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points 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 selection 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Prattville AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact 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 judgements 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Prattville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Prattville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant School
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant school is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Prattville AL.