How to Find the Right CNA School near Athens 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 Athens AL. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Although it might seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it’s essential that you pick the right course to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics together with a few 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Athens AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic care 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
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Athens AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they often remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they can end up being the channel 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 significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Athens AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 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 may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Athens AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more 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 household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist 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 essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 make sure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Athens AL area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. 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 Athens 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 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 good reputation within the Athens AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Athens AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in CNA Classes Near Athens Alabama?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Athens AL area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Athens is a city in Limestone County, in the State of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 21,897. The city is the county seat of Limestone County and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.
Founded in 1818 by John Coffee, Robert Beaty, John D. Carroll, and John Read, Athens is one of the oldest incorporated cities in the State of Alabama, having been incorporated one year prior to the state's admittance to the Union in 1819. Limestone County was also created by an act of the Alabama Territorial Legislature in 1818. The town was first called Athenson, but was incorporated as Athens after the ancient city in Greece. The town's first mayor was Samuel Tanner, and the Tanner area, south of Athens, was named on his behalf.
The Athens area was the home of William Wyatt Bibb, the first Governor of Alabama, and its second Governor, his brother Thomas Bibb, who succeeded him in office when he died in a fall from his horse.
Choose the Right CNA Program near Athens AL
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant school is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you select a CNA college 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 final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Athens AL.
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