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How to Pick the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant School Near Prattville Alabama

Prattville Alabama Nursing Assistant reviewing patient chart with NurseOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Prattville AL. Once you have earned 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 well seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's essential that you pick the right course to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be pondering 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 picking a program requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects together with several 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 training and credentials that are offered.

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The Function of a CNA

Prattville Alabama CNA with senior female patient in nursing home

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Prattville AL hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:

  • Furnishing basic services to patients
  • Reading patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Moving patients to other rooms

CNAs can also work in Prattville AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extensive time frames. Frequently, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Prattville AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Classes

Prattville Alabama young female student taking CNA training onlineAttending CNA schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Prattville AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask CNA Courses

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.

  • 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Prattville AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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.  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 a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Prattville 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 considering 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 favorable reputation within the Prattville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Prattville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

More on How Long Does it Take to Become a CNA in Prattville

Pick the Best Prattville Nurse Assistant Training

Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Prattville Alabama.


 

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