How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College near Saraland Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Saraland AL. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in health care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a challenging task, it's imperative that you pick the best school to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a school consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Saraland AL hospitals, practices and other medical organizations 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 supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring 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 may also practice in Saraland AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CoursesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Saraland AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets 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. 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.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Saraland AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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). Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Training Classes
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Saraland AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Saraland 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Saraland AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Saraland AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Saraland CNA Training
Picking the best certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Saraland AL.