How to Find the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College near Oxford 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 classes near Oxford AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in healthcare within the United States. Although it may seem like a complicated task, it's essential that you pick the right program to obtain the proper training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a program entails far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics together with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Oxford AL hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Oxford AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn 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 Oxford 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 have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA training online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Oxford AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education and employment in the Oxford AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Oxford AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Oxford AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local Oxford AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Oxford Certified Nursing Assistant Program
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Oxford AL.