How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Program Near Anniston Alabama
Once 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 earned your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Though it may seem like a complicated task, it's essential that you pick the right course to obtain the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price 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 on that option later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a school involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
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The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Anniston AL hospitals, practices and other medical 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 direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Anniston AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training 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. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Anniston AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number 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 accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little 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 active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, 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 in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, 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 field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the 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 receive a quality education and employment in the Anniston AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Anniston AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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 requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Anniston AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Anniston Nurse Assistant Program
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you select 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 shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Anniston Alabama.