How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School near Trussville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Trussville AL. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the Country. Although it may well seem like a difficult task, it's essential that you choose the ideal course to acquire the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential 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 on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Trussville AL hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Trussville AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CertificatesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Trussville AL vocational or trade schools. The length 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the program 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 certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Trussville AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Trussville AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. 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 Trussville 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 schools you are considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Trussville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Trussville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Trussville Certified Nursing Assistant Training
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant school is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Trussville AL.