How to Select the Right Nursing Assistant Course near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Tuscaloosa AL. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the Country. Although it might seem like a difficult undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the ideal school to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before picking a training course entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics as well as a few 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Tuscaloosa AL hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Tuscaloosa 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 characterized as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Tuscaloosa AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA classes online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Tuscaloosa AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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). And so if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Tuscaloosa AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, 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 Tuscaloosa 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Tuscaloosa AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Tuscaloosa AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional 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 pick 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 certified nursing assistant in Tuscaloosa AL.