How to Select the Best CNA College near Clanton 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 searching for CNA training programs near Clanton AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the Country. Though it may well seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you select the ideal program to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a program requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those subjects along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Clanton AL hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Clanton AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Clanton AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Clanton AL. Certain 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 accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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). So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Clanton AL area, it may assist in acquiring 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Clanton AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges 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 superb reputation within the Clanton AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Clanton AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Clanton Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose 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 CNA in Clanton AL.