How to Choose the Right Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant College Near Phenix City Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Phenix City AL. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in medical care within the Country. Although it may seem like a complicated task, it's imperative that you pick the best program to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a school consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those subjects as well as a few 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 type of instruction and credentials that are available.
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The Role of a CNA
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical member of a healthcare team. In fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other Phenix City AL healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who love to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Phenix City AL vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Phenix City AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start 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 necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. 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 pick compares to the field.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education and employment in the Phenix City AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, 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 assessments 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 displeased 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 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 most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Phenix City Nurse Assistant School
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant college is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Phenix City Alabama.