How to Find the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant School Near Prattville Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA classes near Prattville AL. After you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in healthcare within the United States. Though it may well seem like a complicated task, it's imperative that you pick the best course to acquire the proper training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
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The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
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 Prattville AL locations such as long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and hospices.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Prattville AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 may be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Prattville AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 Prattville 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 Prattville 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.
Choose the Right Prattville Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant college is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. 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 excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Prattville Alabama.