How to Select the Best Accredited CNA Training Program 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. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Though it may seem like a challenging endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the best course to receive the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before selecting a school entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those issues as well as a few other questions that you need to 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 Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Prattville AL hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Prattville AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Prattville AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. 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 prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain 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 conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the Prattville AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Prattville 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Prattville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Prattville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Prattville Nurse Assistant Training
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Prattville Alabama.