How to Pick the Right CNA Program near Phenix City Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Phenix City AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in medical care within the Country. Although it may seem like a difficult task, it's essential that you pick the right school to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be considering 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 doing your due diligence before selecting a program involves much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk 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 perform many functions in the Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Phenix City AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Frequently, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant DiplomasIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Phenix City AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Phenix City AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as 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 only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Phenix City AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Phenix City 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 programs you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Phenix City AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Phenix City Certified Nursing Assistant Training
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Phenix City AL.