How to Find the Best CNA Program Near Auburn 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 training classes near Auburn AL. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the Country. Although it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you choose the best program to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost 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 concerning that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to picking a school entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, 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 Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Auburn AL hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Auburn 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 defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Auburn AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and every 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 also 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 is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Auburn AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Auburn AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Auburn 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Auburn AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Auburn AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Auburn Nurse Assistant School
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Auburn Alabama.