New school offers healthcare training in Northport

A month-long class that can begin a career has come to West Alabama.

By Keldrin Palmer
News Reporter

Northport— Mary Sparks had already been considering the possibility in healthcare. Her interest grew after her grandmother suffered from a stroke. Her grandmother’s new need for assistance was one of many stories that inspired the need for a new school that is offering people in the area healthcare training.

Titisha Melton, founder of the Legacy School of Healthcare, is now trying to make one of healthcare’s many angles a little bit easier to approach.

The Legacy School of Healthcare is a new program created by Melton to help keep up with the demand for healthcare providers in the area and provide knowledge to the community. The school offers many courses to the community and businesses including Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification courses.

“My mother-in-law actually put the idea in my ear,” Melton said. “She kept telling me how well she thought a CNA program would do here.”

After two years of research, Melton was able to make this a reality.

Instructor Titisha Melton, RN, standing with an instructional dummy.

Melton, currently working as a RN, saidys that’sthere’s no one moment in particular that made her decide to start her own healthcare school, but there were several moments where she wished her CNAs had thought to be more involved.

“They would seem like they didn’t know if they should report something to the nurse. The CNAs in a hospital would be taking vitals, blood pressure readings, temperature etc., while I, a nurse, would be making rounds. More often than I would have liked, a CNA would take a weird vital and not report it to me. I’d be making rounds based on a routine day instead of adjusting to these sometimes urgent matters,” Melton said.

The CNA program specifically offers an opportunity for people who are interested in the healthcare field an opportunity to get hands-on experience through lectures and clinicals. 

Melton will be teaching in a building donated by Heritage Healthcare and Rehab, which will also host the clinicals for the students.

The Heritage sign outside of her current building.

Melton said she hopes that her program opens doors to many people and can save them a lot of time. Many people begin the nursing track in school and spend thousands on tuition and classes but will not attend clinicals and really see inside the work space until the latter half of their education.

“If you decide after becoming a CNA, ‘Hey, this is really different from school, I don’t really want to do this anymore, it’s taking a toll on me,’ at least you didn’t spend four years in nursing school with a whole bunch of student loans and all of the sudden you don’t like it. It’s a smaller risk to get to the same goal,” Melton said.

Melton’s first round of classes began April 1 and will meet four days a week for four weeks. State testing materials, study materials and basic nursing equipment were covered in the enrollment expenses, but each student brought their own reason for being there.

“I’d like to help other people who need help,” Sparks said.

Some students in attendence, like Janika Reed, came to the school with a career change in mind.

“I heard about it from a friend who was already a CNA,” Reed said. “I had been to cosmetology school and working in plants but really wanted to settle into a new career.”

The Legacy School of Healthcare will offer the CNA classes in person or online with a required in-person clinical portion. They also plan on hosting free, interactive community events on elderly care and mental health. The events are scheduled once a month and available on their website.