How to Choose the Best CNA School near Atmore 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 finding CNA classes near Atmore AL. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the United States. Although it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's essential that you pick the ideal course to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of future 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 from home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects along with a few other questions that you should 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 instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Atmore AL hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they are employed. As indicated by 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 role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Atmore AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often stay in the facilities for extended time periods. In many cases, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Atmore AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 minimum period of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates 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 training online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Atmore AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Atmore AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements 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 too. Additionally, 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 call some Atmore 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 considering 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 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 Atmore AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Atmore AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Atmore Nurse Assistant School
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant college is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose 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 Atmore AL.