How to Find the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program Near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Tuscaloosa AL. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in healthcare within the United States. Though it may seem like a complicated task, it's imperative that you pick the right course to receive the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating 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 prior to choosing a training course requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
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The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Tuscaloosa AL hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Tuscaloosa AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Tuscaloosa AL vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 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 directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA classes online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Tuscaloosa AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education and employment in the Tuscaloosa AL area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Tuscaloosa 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 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 Tuscaloosa AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Tuscaloosa AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Tuscaloosa Nurse Assistant Program
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant college is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 CNA in Tuscaloosa Alabama.