How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School near Andalusia Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Andalusia AL. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the United States. Although it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it's essential that you select the ideal school to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential 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 at home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence before picking a training course entails far 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 issues together with a few 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 Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Andalusia AL hospitals, practices and other health facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Andalusia AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Frequently, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Andalusia AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 amount of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA schools online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Andalusia AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 confirm that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Andalusia AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Andalusia AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Andalusia AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific 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 nearby Andalusia AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Andalusia CNA Program
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Andalusia AL.