How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Assistant Program near Vestavia Hills 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 programs near Vestavia Hills AL. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the Country. Although it might seem like a challenging undertaking, it's important that you select the best school to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics as well as several 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 type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Vestavia Hills AL hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance 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 duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Vestavia Hills AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extensive time frames. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike 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 Vestavia Hills AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Vestavia Hills AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important part of any Vestavia Hills AL healthcare organization. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency 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 member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who like to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 Vestavia Hills AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Vestavia Hills 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 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 good reputation within the Vestavia Hills AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Vestavia Hills AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the right certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare 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 final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Vestavia Hills AL.