How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School near Phenix City 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 classes near Phenix City AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Although it may well seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you select the best program to obtain the necessary 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 might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a school requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those issues as well as several 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Phenix City AL hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Phenix City AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Phenix City AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 minimal period of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial 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 tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Phenix City AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household responsibilities 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 active schedule.
Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as 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 are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely 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 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Phenix City AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Phenix City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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 too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Phenix City Nurse Assistant Training
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Phenix City AL.