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How to Select the Best CNA College Near Dothan Alabama

Dothan Alabama CNA reviewing patient file with NurseOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Dothan AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Though it may seem like a difficult task, it's important that you pick the ideal school to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be contemplating 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 doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those subjects together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.

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The Duties of a Nursing Assistant

Dothan Alabama CNA with senior woman in assisted living facility

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical component of any healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, medical 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 ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other Dothan AL medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for those who love to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with respect and dignity.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three 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 amount of instruction required and that each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.

Online CNA Schools

Dothan Alabama young female student taking CNA classes onlineAttending CNA training online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may 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 options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

What to Ask CNA Degree Programs

Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.

  • 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education and employment in the Dothan AL area, it may assist 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 enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Dothan 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Dothan AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Dothan AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

More on How Long Does it Take to Become a CNA in Dothan

Pick the Best Dothan Nurse Assistant Training

Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Dothan Alabama.


 

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