How to Find the Best CNA Program near Alexander City Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Alexander City AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it may seem like an overwhelming task, it's imperative that you select the right school to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those subjects along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Alexander City AL hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, 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
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Alexander City AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant ProgramsIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Alexander City 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Alexander City AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Training Classes
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 pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary 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 cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA 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 Alexander City AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ 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 provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 contact some Alexander City 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 looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Alexander City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Alexander City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Alexander City CNA Program
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Alexander City AL.