How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School Near Dothan Alabama
Once 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 programs near Dothan AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Though it may well seem like a daunting task, it's essential that you pick the right course to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a school requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
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The Job 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 Dothan AL locations such as long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and hospices.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 instruction directed and each state has its own requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited 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 busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 Dothan 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 Dothan 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 Dothan
Pick the Best Dothan Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Dothan Alabama.