How to Choose the Right Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Near Pelham Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Pelham AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's important that you choose the ideal course to obtain the appropriate 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 debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a school requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects together with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 offered.
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The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Pelham AL hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Pelham AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Pelham AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Courses
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Pelham AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly 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 selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Pelham AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Pelham AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools you are looking at 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Pelham AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Pelham AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Pelham Nurse Assistant Program
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant school is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Pelham Alabama.