What To Look For in Nursing Assistant Schools
Contrary to what others may think, nursing assistants play a vital role in providing quality nursing care – whether it is in hospitals, nursing facilities, clinics, long-term care facilities, or geriatric facilities. Registered nurses usually have their hands full and cannot always personally attend to the needs of every patient, which is why nursing assistants are needed in the scene. With them, patients are able to receive hands-on nursing care, particularly for their daily living and personal needs. Since the work of a nursing assistant involves direct contact and care for patients, undergoing proper training is very important. Nursing assistant programs are usually offered in schools, community colleges, and nursing assistant schools.
Before you can enroll in a nursing assistant program, a high school diploma or its equivalent (e.g. GED) is usually required. Other admission requirements will also vary depending on the state you live in and the nursing assistant school you wish to receive training in. Nursing assistant programs are also available in many vocational-technical centers and nursing facilities, some of which are even offering training programs for free and helps provide employment at the same time. You can expect to take up courses in areas such as physiology, anatomy, nutrition, infection control, and medical terminologies.
Training programs offered in nursing assistant schools will also provide instruction in basic nursing assistant skills, which usually includes proper feeding, dressing, bathing, and grooming patients. Nursing assistant programs generally take anywhere between 6 to 12 weeks to complete. Besides classroom instruction, there will also be practical training so that students will be immersed in a real work environment setting. Online training programs are also available, and offer a more convenient option compared to attending physical nursing assistant schools. However, you will still be required to undergo practical training in order to complement your lectures and classroom hours.
Since there are many nursing assistant schools available for you to choose from, it may be helpful to consider some factors when making a choice between them. Location is among the primary factors you should consider when choosing a school. For most individuals, a school that is nearest your place of residence is the best choice. As for the class size, smaller means better since instructors can focus on the learning progress of each individual student. It is also a good idea to look for nursing assistant schools which have adequate facilities, ideally those which have affiliations with reputable hospitals and nursing facilities.
When looking for nursing assistant schools, you must never overlook another important factor – accreditation. It is highly recommended that you enroll in training programs from schools that have been duly accredited by a well-known body or organization such as the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC). This is your assurance that the quality of education and training you will be receiving is of the highest standard. If you are not enrolling in a free or sponsored nursing assistant program, you will also have to consider the tuition fees of the school you are planning to enroll in. Some nursing assistant schools also offer scholarship programs or financial aid to qualified applicants as well.