How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Near Huntsville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Huntsville AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Although it may seem like a daunting undertaking, it's important that you select the ideal course to obtain the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic 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 course and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before choosing a program requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be covering those issues together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start 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 complete many functions in the Huntsville AL hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. Per 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 supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Huntsville AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extended time periods. In many cases, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Huntsville AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the 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 certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to 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 Courses
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Huntsville AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. 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. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the Huntsville AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Huntsville 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Huntsville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have associations with local Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
More on How to Become a CNA in Huntsville
Choose the Right Huntsville Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Huntsville Alabama.