How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program 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 finding CNA classes near Saraland AL. After you have achieved your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's imperative that you pick the right course to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a program requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those issues as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Saraland AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. 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 direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Saraland AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CertificatesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Saraland AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the program 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 is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Saraland AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And 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 CNA Training Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Saraland AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 finish 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 favorable reputation within the Saraland AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Saraland AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Saraland CNA Training
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant college is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select 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 Saraland AL.