HOME >> ALABAMA >> BIRMINGHAM >> ONLINE CNA CLASSES


CNA Certification Training Classes Birmingham AL


How to Choose the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham AL Nursing Assistant taking man's blood pressureNow that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Birmingham AL. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the USA. Although it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it's important that you select the ideal school to acquire 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 cost of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a training course consists of much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Birmingham AL Certified Nursing Assistant greeting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Birmingham AL hospitals, practices and other health care facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:

  • Providing basic care to patients
  • Reading patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other areas

CNAs can also practice in Birmingham AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction 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 three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.

Online CNA Classes

Birmingham AL woman taking online CNA coursesAttending CNA classes online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Birmingham AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important component of any Birmingham AL healthcare organization. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who love to keep busy and help people as well as treat them with dignity and respect.

Things to Ask CNA Programs

What to Ask Birmingham AL CNA schoolsOnce you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Birmingham AL area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Birmingham AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Birmingham AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Program

Birmingham AL CNA with assisted living patientSelecting the best certified nursing assistant training program is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Birmingham AL.