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How to Choose the Right CNA College Near Dothan Alabama

Dothan Alabama Nursing Assistant reviewing patient file with NurseOnce you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Dothan AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Although it may seem like an overwhelming task, it's essential that you choose the right course to acquire the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a school consists of far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those topics as well as a few other questions that you need to 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 type of instruction and credentials that are available.

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The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Dothan Alabama CNA with senior woman in assisted living facility

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Dothan AL hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:

  • Providing basic care to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs may also work in Dothan AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Dothan AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.

CNA Online Training

Dothan Alabama young female student enrolled in CNA training onlineAttending CNA schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Dothan AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Programs

Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Dothan AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification requirements 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Dothan AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Dothan AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Dothan AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

More on How to Become a CNA in Dothan

Choose the Right Dothan Nurse Assistant Training

Picking the right certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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.


 

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