How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Bessemer Alabama
Once 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 Bessemer AL. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Though it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it's imperative that you select the right school to obtain the proper training and education. Many future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be covering those issues along 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 CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Bessemer AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare 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. And as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Bessemer AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CertificatesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Bessemer AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 other requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Bessemer AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Bessemer AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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 completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Bessemer 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 schools 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bessemer AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Bessemer AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Learn More About Bessemer CNA Schools
Pick the Right Bessemer Nurse Assistant Program
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick 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 develop 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 CNA in Bessemer AL.