How to Find the Right CNA School near Shelby 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 classes near Shelby AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Although it may well seem like a difficult undertaking, it’s essential that you select the best course to acquire the proper 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 also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program involves much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those subjects as well as various 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 kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Shelby AL hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can 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 aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Shelby AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA’s knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing 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 received at community colleges or at Shelby AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 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 minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA training online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Shelby AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. 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 choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the Shelby AL area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services 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 check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Shelby 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 considering 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Shelby AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Shelby AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Attending CNA Classes Near Shelby Alabama?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA School in the Shelby AL area, the following article may provide some interesting and helpful information about the location of your new school campus.
Shelby County, Alabama
Shelby County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 195,085. The county seat is Columbiana. The county is named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky from 1792 to 1796 and again from 1812 to 1816.
Shelby County was established on February 7, 1818, and it was named for the Revolutionary War hero and the first Governor of Kentucky, Isaac Shelby. Beginning in 1820, the first county seat was located at Shelbyville. This settlement, long defunct, was located within the modern city limits of Pelham. The first courthouse was built of logs. The seat was moved to Columbia, now Columbiana, in 1826. Initially housed in an old school building, a new brick courthouse building was completed in 1854. It is now known as the Old Shelby County Courthouse and houses the Shelby County Museum and Archives. The current limestone courthouse was built from 1905–06, at a cost of $300,000.
Shelby County was the home of an early inland waterway, the Coosa River, and it was also the location of a very early east-west railroad in Alabama that connected Atlanta, Georgia, with locations to its west. Shelby County was also crossed by an early north-south railroad, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, that connected Louisville, Nashville, Decatur, Birmingham, and Montgomery.
Pick the Right CNA Training Program near Shelby AL
Selecting the right certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. One of the reasons you stopped by our website was due to an interest in CNA Nursing School. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Shelby AL.
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