How to Find the Right CNA Course 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 searching for CNA training programs near Prattville AL. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the United States. Even though it may well seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it's imperative that you select the best school to acquire the proper training and education. A number of future students begin 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 on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course requires far 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 covering those subjects along with several other questions that you should be asking before you register 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 Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Prattville AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities 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 perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving 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 involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise 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 have to earn 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 just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and earn 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 certain 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 accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized 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 vary 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet 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. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 colleges 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Prattville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Prattville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the right certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select 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 CNA in Prattville AL.