How to Pick the Best CNA College near Fairhope 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 searching for CNA classes near Fairhope AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing positions in medical care within the United States. Even though it may seem like a challenging task, it's imperative that you choose the right program to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a program involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those issues as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Fairhope AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Fairhope AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of 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 typically remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. In many cases, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valued 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Fairhope AL vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction 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 certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Fairhope AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Fairhope AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- 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 mandates for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Fairhope AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Fairhope Nurse Assistant School
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Fairhope AL.