How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Anniston Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Anniston AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in health care within the United States. Though it might seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you choose the right course to acquire the necessary training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a program involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Anniston AL hospitals, practices and other medical 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 function 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 diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining 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 work in Anniston AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CertificatesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Anniston AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Anniston AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper 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 a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education and employment in the Anniston AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Anniston 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Anniston AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Anniston AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Find Out More About Anniston CNA Programs
Pick the Right Anniston CNA School
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Anniston AL.