How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Assistant Training Program near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Tuscaloosa AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the ideal course to receive the proper training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a school requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those issues along with several other questions that you need to 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 training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Tuscaloosa 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 guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking 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 can also practice in Tuscaloosa AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, 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 extensive periods of time. Often, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Tuscaloosa AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Tuscaloosa AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A CNA is a vital component of any Tuscaloosa AL healthcare team. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
Things to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Tuscaloosa AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. 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 Tuscaloosa AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs you are considering 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Tuscaloosa AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Tuscaloosa AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA School
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you select a CNA college 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 pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Tuscaloosa AL.