How to Choose a CNA Training near Huntsville Alabama
So you have decided to practice as a CNA and enroll in certified nursing assistant training near Huntsville AL. Once you have earned your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the fastest growing positions in healthcare within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a daunting task, it’s essential that you choose the best CNA program to obtain the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online course and attend them from home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a CNA training course requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those subjects as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant in Huntsville AL
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Huntsville 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. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Reading patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Huntsville AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extended time frames. Frequently, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA’s knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants in Huntsville AL do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program 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 amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training 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 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing credential. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Huntsville AL healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit an education into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Nursing Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Huntsville AL along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Is the CNA program accredited? It’s important that the Huntsville 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 Huntsville 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 Huntsville 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 Huntsville 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 Huntsville 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 Huntsville 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 Huntsville 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 Huntsville 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 Huntsville AL?
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County and south into Morgan County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 census. Huntsville is the third-largest city in Alabama and the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area, which at the 2013 census estimate had a total population of 683,871. The Huntsville Metropolitan Area's population was 417,593 in 2010 to become the 2nd largest in Alabama. Huntsville metro's population reached 441,000 by 2014.
It grew across nearby hills north of the Tennessee River, adding textile mills, then munitions factories, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list.
The first settlers of the area were Muscogee-speaking people. The Chickasaw traditionally claim to have settled around 1300 after coming east across the Mississippi. A combination of factors, including depopulation due to disease, land disputes between the Choctaw and Cherokee, and pressures from the United States government had largely depopulated the area prior to 1805. That year Revolutionary War veteran John Hunt settled in the land around the Big Spring. The 1805 Treaty with the Chickasaws and the Cherokee Treaty of Washington of 1806 ceded native claims to the United States Government. The area was subsequently purchased by LeRoy Pope, who named the area Twickenham after the home village of his distant kinsman Alexander Pope.
Pick the Right CNA Training near Huntsville AL
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Huntsville AL.
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