How to Find the Right CNA Program near Decatur 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 classes near Decatur AL. Once you have obtained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a daunting task, it’s imperative that you pick the best course to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics as well as various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let’s discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Decatur AL hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Checking 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 rooms
CNAs can also work in Decatur AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals perform daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA’s knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Decatur AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA classes online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Decatur AL. Some 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 center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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). So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Decatur AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Decatur 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 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Decatur AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Decatur AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Attending CNA Classes Near Decatur Alabama?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA School in the Decatur AL area, the following article may provide some interesting and helpful information about the location of your new school campus.
Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties in the State of Alabama. The city, nicknamed "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County. The population in 2010 was 55,683.
Decatur is also the core city of the two-county large Decatur, Alabama metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 153,374 in 2013. Combined with the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the two create the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area, of which Decatur is the second-largest city.
Like many southern cities in the early 19th century, Decatur's early success was based upon its location along a river. Railroad routes and boating traffic pushed the city to the front of North Alabama's economic atmosphere. The city rapidly grew into a large economic center within the Tennessee Valley and was a hub for travelers and cargo between Nashville and Mobile, as well as Chattanooga and New Orleans. Throughout the 20th century, the city experienced steady growth, but was eclipsed as the regional economic center by the fast-growing Huntsville during the space race. The city now finds its economy heavily based on manufacturing, mining, cargo transit, chemical, and high-tech companies such as Vulcan Materials, Daikin, Toray, United Launch Alliance.
Pick the Right CNA Training Classes near Decatur AL
Picking the right certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. One of the reasons you stopped by our website was due to an interest in Nurse Aide Program. However, 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Decatur AL.
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