How to Find the Best Accredited CNA School Near Anniston Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Anniston AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Even though it may seem like a complicated task, it's important that you pick the right program to receive the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But performing your due diligence before picking a program entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
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The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Anniston AL hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Anniston AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Anniston AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA classes online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Anniston AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Anniston AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. 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 Anniston 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 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 Anniston AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Anniston AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Anniston Nurse Assistant Training
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Anniston Alabama.