How to Choose the Right Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Near Montgomery Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Montgomery AL. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the USA. Although it may seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you pick the ideal school to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics as well as several 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 instruction and credentials that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
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 Montgomery AL locations such as long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and hospices.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Montgomery AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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.
CNA Online Courses
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more popular way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Montgomery AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient 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, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 Montgomery 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 Montgomery 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.
Choose the Best Montgomery Nurse Assistant Program
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Montgomery Alabama.