How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Vestavia Hills Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Vestavia Hills AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you select the best course to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a program consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics as well as various other questions that you need to 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 training and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Vestavia Hills AL hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Vestavia Hills AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extended time periods. In many cases, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Vestavia Hills AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 can be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Vestavia Hills AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Vestavia Hills AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Vestavia Hills 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Vestavia Hills AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Vestavia Hills AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Vestavia Hills CNA Training
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Vestavia Hills AL.