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How to Choose the Right CNA Training Program near Mobile Alabama

Mobile AL Certified Nursing Assistant taking man's blood pressureOnce you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Mobile AL. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in medical care within the United States. Although it may seem like a difficult task, it's imperative that you pick the ideal program to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that option later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a school requires far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those subjects along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.

The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Mobile AL CNA assisting patient

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Mobile AL hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:

  • Providing basic services to patients
  • Checking patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Conveying patients to other areas

CNAs may also practice in Mobile AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Mobile AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Training

Mobile AL woman taking online CNA trainingAttending CNA schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Mobile AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical part of any Mobile AL healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically challenging, 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 while treating them with respect and dignity.

Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs

Questions to Ask Mobile AL CNA programsOnce you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education and employment in the Mobile AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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.  Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch 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 judgements are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mobile AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Mobile AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Pick the Best Nurse Assistant Training

Mobile AL Nursing Assistant with assisted living residentSelecting the best certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Mobile AL.