How to Pick the Right Accredited CNA School Near Prichard Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Prichard AL. Once you have achieved your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the Country. Even though it may seem like a challenging undertaking, it's essential that you pick the right course to acquire the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to picking a program requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects along with several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
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The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Prichard AL hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Prichard AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Prichard AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Courses
Attending CNA training online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Prichard AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Prichard AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Prichard AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Prichard AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Prichard AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Prichard Nurse Assistant Program
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Prichard Alabama.