How to Find the Best CNA Training Program near Theodore Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Theodore AL. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the USA. Although it may well seem like a complicated task, it's important that you pick the best course to receive 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 cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a school entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those topics along with various 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 training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Theodore AL hospitals, clinics and other health care 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 work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Reading 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 can also practice in Theodore 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 most individuals perform daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. Often, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant ProgramsIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Theodore AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Theodore AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain 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 solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program 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 decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 make sure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Theodore AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria 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 important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Theodore 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Theodore AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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 also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Theodore AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Learn More About Theodore CNA Training
Choose the Right Theodore Certified Nursing Assistant School
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant college is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Theodore AL.