How to Find the Best Certified Nursing Assistant College Near Troy 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 searching for CNA training programs near Troy AL. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in medical care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a difficult endeavor, it's essential that you select the right course to receive the necessary training and education. A number of future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But completing your due diligence before selecting a school involves much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics 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 training and credentials that are offered.
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The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many functions in the Troy AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Troy AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Troy AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 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 minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Courses
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Troy AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Troy AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 contact some Troy 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 colleges 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Troy AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Troy AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Troy Nurse Assistant Program
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 CNA in Troy Alabama.