How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Clay 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 classes near Clay AL. After you have earned your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a daunting undertaking, it's important that you select the best school to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a training course involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Clay AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. 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 supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment might 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 helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Clay AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant TrainingUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Clay AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Clay AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers 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 necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the Clay AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Clay 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Clay AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Clay AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Learn More About Clay CNA Training
Choose the Best Clay CNA School
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Clay AL.