How to Enroll In the Right Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant College Near Phenix City Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Phenix City AL. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the Country. Though it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the ideal course to acquire the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But completing your due diligence before deciding on a program involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics along with a few other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
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The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many tasks in the Phenix City AL hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Phenix City AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they may become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received 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, resulting in 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 must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Phenix City AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points 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 evaluate 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Phenix City AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares 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 evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Phenix City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Phenix City Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted 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 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 desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Phenix City Alabama.