How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Fairhope Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Fairhope AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Although it may seem like a complicated task, it's important that you select the best course to acquire the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects together with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many jobs in the Fairhope AL hospitals, practices and other healthcare facilities where they are employed. 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 oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Fairhope 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 identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant TrainingIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Fairhope AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 other requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Fairhope AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount 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 practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other 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 job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first 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 selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Fairhope AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Fairhope AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fairhope AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Fairhope AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Fairhope Certified Nursing Assistant Training
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Fairhope AL.