How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course Near Anniston Alabama
Once 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 training programs near Anniston AL. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Even though it might seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you pick the best course to acquire the necessary training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating 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 completing your due diligence before choosing a school involves much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be covering those topics along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
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The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Anniston AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Anniston AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extended 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. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper 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 instruction can be received at community colleges or at Anniston AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Anniston AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Anniston AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Anniston 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Anniston AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Anniston AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
More on How to Become a CNA in Anniston
Pick the Right Anniston Nurse Assistant Training
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Anniston Alabama.