How to Select the Right Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant College Near Athens 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 training programs near Athens AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing positions in medical care within the USA. Even though it might seem like a complicated undertaking, it's imperative that you select the best school to acquire the proper training and education. Many future students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to picking a training course requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics along with a few other questions that you should 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.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
The Function of a CNA
CNAs are on the front lines of providing basic care to patients in a variety of health care facilities, with responsibilities ranging from assisting with personal daily needs such as bathing and exercising to monitoring vital signs and dietary restrictions. All job requirements tend to be non-invasive procedures and revolve around daily routines that patients may not be able to complete on their own. Working under the supervision of licensed nurses, CNAs provide personal, professional assistance, ensuring patients are treated with dignity and respect and while receiving necessary medical care. In addition to being able to provide day-to-day care to their patients, CNAs must be compassionate communicators who can support their patients through difficult and sometimes painful procedures. Because they provide many basic care services such as bathing patients and helping them transfer to wheelchairs, they must also have a certain level of physical fitness. CNAs are expected to be team players, serving as liaisons between other medical professionals and their patients. This often involves recording and conveying important information concerning the condition of those in their charge. CNAs are found in nearly every health care field, serving in Athens AL locations such as long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and hospices.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Athens AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Athens AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for 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 alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- State Approval. Each state has its own requirements for training and certification to become a practicing CNA. When researching schools, make sure the program you select is on the state-approved program list to ensure you will meet Alabama's requirements for certification following graduation. While programs across the country all teach the same basic care principles, states may differ on the number of classroom hours and/or clinical practice time is required.
- Accreditation. The first thing you will want to look for when choosing a CNA school is accreditation. Accreditation is proof that the school in question has met certain standards required to train and educate students. As such, always make sure that the school you are researching is accredited by a national accrediting agency.
- Program Cost. The cost of a CNA program can vary from school to school, but in general, CNA training programs are less expensive than an LPN training program, as the curriculum is less in-depth. Vocational schools, community colleges and some medical facilities in the Athens AL offer CNA training programs and may charge tuition by the credit hour or as a flat program fee. When calculating the total cost of a program, be sure to include the cost of books, course materials and uniform, background check fees, medical examination/TB test fees and the cost of the certification exam in addition to the tuition.
- Time Commitment. A CNA training program can take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks to complete, and will include clinical training hours in addition to classroom hours. One of the reasons becoming a CNA is a great entry into the Alabama nursing profession is this fast completion time, meaning CNAs can enter the work force much more quickly than an aspiring LPN or RN. Many CNAs use a position as a CNA to determine if nursing is the right career for them, and may decide to become an LPN or RN at a later date.
- Online vs. On Campus. Another program element to consider is whether or not your school of choice offers online courses. Online courses may be more convenient for students who have other work or family obligations that limit their availability to be on campus. Online programs provide students with the flexibility to complete assignments at their Athens AL home on their own schedules. Recognizing the need for flexibility among their students, many traditional classroom CNA programs also offer classes during nights and weekends.
Learn How Long Does it Take to Become a CNA in Athens
Choose the Best Athens Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Athens Alabama.