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How to Enroll In the Right Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Course Near Trussville Alabama

Trussville Alabama Nursing Assistant reviewing patient file with NurseOnce you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Trussville AL. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in healthcare within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's essential that you choose the right school to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before picking a training course entails far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.

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The Duties of a CNA

Trussville Alabama Nursing Assistant with senior female patient in nursing home

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Trussville AL hospitals, practices and other health organizations 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 work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:

  • Providing basic services to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Maintaining a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other areas

CNAs might also practice in Trussville AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extended time frames. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Certificates

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Trussville AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the training 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 other requirements as well.

CNA Online Schools

Trussville Alabama young woman student taking CNA classes onlineEnrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Trussville AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional 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). And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

What to Ask CNA Degree Programs

Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly 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 select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Trussville AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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.  Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Trussville 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Trussville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Trussville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

More on How to Become a CNA in Trussville

Pick the Right Trussville Nurse Assistant Training

Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Trussville Alabama.


 

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