How to Select the Best CNA Training Program near Pleasant Grove 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 finding CNA training classes near Pleasant Grove AL. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the United States. Even though it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's essential that you pick the right program to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a school involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those topics as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Pleasant Grove AL hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Taking 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 can also work in Pleasant Grove AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to 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 TrainingUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Pleasant Grove AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial 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 tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Pleasant Grove AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Pleasant Grove AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Pleasant Grove 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Pleasant Grove AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Pleasant Grove AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Pleasant Grove Certified Nursing Assistant Program
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Pleasant Grove AL.