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How to Pick the Right CNA School near Mobile Alabama

Mobile AL Certified Nursing Assistant taking patient's vital signsOnce you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Mobile AL. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in medical care within the USA. Even though it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it's important that you select the best course to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a school consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those topics as well as a few other questions that you should 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 Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Mobile AL CNA assisting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Mobile AL hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:

  • Administering basic care to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Moving patients to other areas

CNAs might also practice in Mobile AL nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting 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 restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Mobile AL vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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. 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.

Online CNA Training

Mobile AL student attending online CNA coursesEnrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Mobile AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important part of any Mobile AL medical team. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that he or she works for. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, 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 job can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening 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 Colleges

Questions to Ask Mobile AL CNA training programsOnce you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.

  • 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. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education and employment in the Mobile AL area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Mobile AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Mobile AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Choose the Right CNA Training

Mobile AL CNA with assisted living residentSelecting the best certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Mobile AL.