How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Albertville 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 finding CNA training programs near Albertville AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the Country. Although it might seem like a daunting task, it's essential that you choose the right program to receive the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course entails far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those subjects as well as various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Albertville AL hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Albertville AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Frequently, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CertificatesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Albertville AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Albertville AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Albertville AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Albertville 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Albertville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Albertville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Albertville CNA Training
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Albertville AL.