How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Near Daphne Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Daphne AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Although it may seem like a complicated task, it's important that you select the best program to receive the necessary 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 debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence prior to choosing a program requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects along with several 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 type of training and credentials that are offered.
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The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Daphne AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Daphne AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extensive time frames. In many cases, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Daphne AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the course 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 sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Courses
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more favored way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Daphne 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 facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as 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 Daphne AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Daphne 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 programs 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 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 Daphne AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Daphne AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Daphne Nurse Assistant Program
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Daphne Alabama.