How to Find the Right Accredited CNA College Near Athens Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Athens AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the USA. Although it may seem like a challenging task, it's important that you pick the right program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a school entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
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The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Athens AL hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Athens AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Athens 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. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the course 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 certain that the training 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Athens AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest 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. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education and employment in the Athens AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Athens 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 complete 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 favorable reputation within the Athens AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Athens AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Athens Nurse Assistant Training
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Athens Alabama.