How to Select a CNA School near Athens Alabama
So you have decided to become a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training classes near Athens AL. Once you have earned your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a complicated task, it’s essential that you pick the ideal CNA program to acquire the proper training and education. Many potential students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online program and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a CNA training course consists of far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA in Athens AL
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Athens AL hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Athens AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for extended periods of time. 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. Because of this, 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 in Athens AL do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Schools
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing credential. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Athens AL healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit an education into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen 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 options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Athens AL along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
Is the CNA program accredited? It’s important that the Athens AL school and program that you enroll in is accredited. One of the more highly regarded accrediting authorities is the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). CNA schools and programs that have been accredited by the NLNAC are guaranteed to not only provide a quality education but to be state approved as well. Earning a certificate or diploma from an accredited school is also more likely to be credited towards a more advanced nursing degree at another accredited school. And finally, accreditation makes your training more valuable in the job market.
Is the CNA course state approved? Before enrolling in a training course near Athens AL, make sure that it complies with the certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. It should not only satisfy the minimum federal requirement of 75 hours, 16 of which must be clinical training, but any additional state requirements as well. As previously mentioned, if the CNA course is accredited by NLNAC it will be guaranteed to be state approved.
What is the Pass Rate for the State Exam? It’s preferable to enroll in a nursing assistant school near Athens AL with a pass rate for the state licensing exam of at least 75% for its graduates. If fewer than 75% are passing, it may be an indication that the curriculum and/or the instructors are not effectively training the students. Alabama posts a list of state CNA schools with their state licensing exam pass rates.
Is there an Internship Program? Find out if the schools you are considering sponsor internships with Athens AL healthcare facilities. They are a great way to get hands-on clinical experience not available in a classroom or lab setting. As an additional benefit, they can help students establish relationships within the local medical community. They also look good on resumes. Also check to see if tutoring is available as needed. Other options may include an internet school forum or chat room where students can ask questions and share knowledge.
Is there a Job Placement Program? A job placement program can be of great assistance to a graduating student in finding that first nursing position. Find out how many students are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school. If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s a confirmation that its reputation within the Athens AL medical community is exemplary. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Where is the school located? The campus will need to be within driving distance of your Athens AL residence unless you are able to relocate. If you enroll in an online program, find out where the clinical portion of your training is available. If a school has an internship program, most likely the placements will be within its local area. Also keep in mind that if you enroll in an out-of-state school, or even out of area for many community colleges, the tuition costs as a non-resident may be higher.
How large are the classes? Ask the schools you are considering on average how large their classes are. Smaller classes usually provide more access to teachers when students have questions or need extra help. In contrast, larger classes tend to be more impersonal and limit one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of the classes before enrolling so that you can experience the level of interaction between students and instructors.
What is the Program’s total cost? CNA training and tuition can vary not only among schools, but from state to state depending on certification requirements. In addition to tuition, there are other costs such as commuting expenses, textbooks and other materials. When comparing schools remember to include all costs required for your education. If you do decide to attend an online school, some of the expenses may be reduced. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available in the Athens AL area.
Can the Program accommodate your Schedule? Finally, you will need to make sure that the program you select offers classes at a time that you can attend. If you are still working and need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Athens AL, make sure they are available. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend classes online, you will still need to confirm when clinical training hours are offered. Also, find out what the policy is for making up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or other obligations.
Considering CNA Classes near Athens AL?
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 Training Program near Athens AL
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select a CNA college and program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Athens AL.
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