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CNA Certification Training Classes Birmingham AL


How to Find the Right CNA Training Program near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham AL Certified Nursing Assistant taking patient's blood pressureOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Birmingham AL. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in medical care within the USA. Although it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's important that you pick the ideal course to receive the proper training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a training course entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects together with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll 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 Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Birmingham AL Certified Nursing Assistant helping man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Birmingham AL hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:

  • Administering basic services to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs can also practice in Birmingham AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they may 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 valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Birmingham AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Training

Birmingham AL woman attending online CNA classesAttending CNA training online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Birmingham AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

What to Ask CNA Courses

Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. 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 selection measures up to the field.

  • 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education and employment in the Birmingham AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Birmingham AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are considering 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 dissatisfied 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 Birmingham AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Birmingham AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Choose the Right CNA Training

Birmingham AL CNA with nursing home patientEnrolling in the right certified nursing assistant school is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Birmingham AL.