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How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School near Troy Alabama

Troy Alabama Certified Nursing Assistant reading blood pressure of senior patientNow that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Troy AL. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a challenging undertaking, it's essential that you select the ideal school to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential 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 course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course requires much 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 together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you register 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

Troy Alabama Certified Nursing Assistant helping patient on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Troy AL hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:

  • Furnishing basic care to patients
  • Checking patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs may also work in Troy AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Troy AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.

Online CNA Training

Troy Alabama Certified Nursing Assistant holding patient health fileEnrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Troy AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Troy AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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 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 prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Troy AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Troy AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local Troy AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Learn More About Troy CNA Training

Enroll in the Best Troy CNA Program

Picking the best certified nursing assistant program is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick 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 Troy AL.


 

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