How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Wetumpka Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Wetumpka AL. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's important that you choose the best school to receive the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence before picking a training course entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those issues as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Wetumpka AL hospitals, practices and other health 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 function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Wetumpka AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Frequently, they can become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Wetumpka AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course 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 other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Courses
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Wetumpka AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Wetumpka AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, 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 Wetumpka 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 programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Wetumpka AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain 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 prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Wetumpka AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Wetumpka CNA School
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Wetumpka AL.