How to Select the Best CNA Training Program near Clanton Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Clanton AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Even though it might seem like a challenging undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the best course to receive the necessary training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a school involves much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those subjects together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Clanton 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 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 primary job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Clanton AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extended time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Clanton AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Certificates
Enrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Clanton AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education and employment in the Clanton AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online 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 contact some Clanton 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Clanton AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Clanton AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Clanton CNA School
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Clanton AL.