How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Prattville Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Prattville AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the USA. Even though it may seem like a difficult endeavor, it's imperative that you select the right course to receive the necessary 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 might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a program consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Prattville AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Prattville AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Prattville AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one 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 must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Prattville AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a vital member of any Prattville AL healthcare organization. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that she or he works for. CNAs also help with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their feedback about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who love to keep busy and help people while treating them with dignity and respect.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education and employment in the Prattville AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 unhappy 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 Prattville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain 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 nearby Prattville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Prattville AL.