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How to Select the Best Nursing Assistant Classes near Mobile Alabama

Mobile AL Certified Nursing Assistant taking man's blood pressureNow that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Mobile AL. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the USA. Though it may well seem like a challenging task, it's essential that you choose the ideal course to acquire the proper training and education. A number of future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a program consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects together with 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 instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a CNA

Mobile AL CNA greeting man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Mobile AL hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they are employed. 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 oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:

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

CNAs can also work in Mobile AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Mobile AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.

CNA Online Classes

Mobile AL student taking online CNA coursesEnrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Mobile AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A CNA is an important component of any Mobile AL healthcare team. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of residents or patients of the medical agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with activities of daily living 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, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their feedback about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right job for people who like to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with respect and dignity.

What to Ask CNA Courses

What to Ask Mobile AL CNA programsNow that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly 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 select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Mobile AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Mobile AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools you are looking at 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Mobile AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Mobile AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right CNA School

Mobile AL CNA with assisted living residentChoosing the best certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Mobile AL.