How to Pick the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School near Greenville 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 Greenville AL. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Even though it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the ideal course to receive the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a training course consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 offered.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Greenville AL hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Greenville 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 characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they can end up being the channel 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 valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Greenville AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 required 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 minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Certificates
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Greenville AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Greenville AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Greenville 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Greenville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local Greenville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Greenville CNA School
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Greenville AL.