How to Pick the Right CNA Classes near Anchorage Alaska
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Anchorage AK. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Though it might seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it's essential that you choose the ideal program to acquire the necessary training and education. Many potential 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 course and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a school involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those issues together with several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll 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 Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many duties in the Anchorage AK hospitals, clinics and other health care organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Anchorage AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, 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 aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically stay in the facilities for extended time periods. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Anchorage AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to 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 need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a certificate or diploma in Anchorage AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital component of any Anchorage AK medical organization. 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 healthcare agency or facility that she or he works for. CNAs also assist with ADLs such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically strenuous, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work 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 perfect profession for those who like to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
What to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Anchorage AK 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 differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Anchorage AK 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 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 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 Anchorage AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Anchorage AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the right certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Anchorage AK.