How to Choose the Best CNA School near Anniston Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Anniston AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the USA. Even though it might seem like a challenging task, it's essential that you pick the ideal course to acquire the necessary training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a program entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those subjects as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Anniston AL hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight 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 many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Anniston AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Anniston 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Anniston AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Anniston AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact 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 dissatisfied 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 Anniston AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Anniston AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Anniston CNA Program
Picking the best certified nursing assistant college is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care 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 ultimate 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 Anniston AL.