How to Select the Right Certified Nursing Assistant College Near Phenix City Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Phenix City AL. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in medical care within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's essential that you choose the right course to acquire 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 also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a training course involves much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects together with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
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The Function of a CNA
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 Phenix City AL locations such as long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and hospices.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Phenix City AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimum amount of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Phenix City AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 Phenix City 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 Phenix City 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.
Pick the Right Phenix City Nurse Assistant School
Picking the best certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Phenix City Alabama.