How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course Near Phenix City Alabama
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Phenix City AL. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in medical care within the Country. Even though it might seem like an overwhelming task, it's essential that you pick the ideal program to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to selecting a program requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Reading 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 might also practice in Phenix City AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Phenix City AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 amount of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with 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. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Courses
Attending CNA programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Phenix City AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount 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 convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many 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 reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Phenix City AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Phenix City 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 schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Phenix City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Phenix City Nurse Assistant Program
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select 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 certified nursing assistant in Phenix City Alabama.