How to Pick the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Program Near Troy Alabama
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Troy AL. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in health care within the United States. Even though it might seem like an overwhelming task, it's essential that you select the best program to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues as well as various other questions that you need to be asking before you register 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 Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Troy AL hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Troy AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without help, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically stay in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Frequently, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Troy AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with 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 certain that the training is state certified. 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 prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA training online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Troy AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education and employment in the Troy AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 programs you are looking at 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 favorable reputation within the Troy AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Troy AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Troy Nurse Assistant School
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Troy Alabama.