How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School 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. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in medical care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a challenging task, it's essential that you choose the right course to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may 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 completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course involves much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects as well as a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin 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 Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
A CNA is an important part of any medical team. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that she or he works for. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other Athens AL medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who love to keep busy and help patients while treating them with dignity and respect.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Athens AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 minimal period of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make sure 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 recommendation 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 Programs
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Athens AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Athens AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. 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 Athens 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Athens AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Athens AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Athens Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Athens Alabama.