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CNA Certification Training Classes Anchorage AK


How to Pick the Right CNA Course near Anchorage Alaska

Anchorage AK Certified Nursing Assistant taking patient's blood pressureNow that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Anchorage AK. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it may seem like a difficult undertaking, it's essential that you pick the ideal course to receive the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a program requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with a few other questions that you should 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 type of training and credentials that are available.

The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Anchorage AK Certified Nursing Assistant helping man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Anchorage AK hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:

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

CNAs might also work in Anchorage AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually reside in the facilities for extended time frames. Frequently, they may end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Programs

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Anchorage AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with 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

Anchorage AK student taking online CNA coursesEnrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Anchorage AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.

Why Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a critical member of any Anchorage AK medical team. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the direct care of residents or patients of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he works for. CNAs also help with activities of daily living 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, typically an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, 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 challenging, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for people who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with dignity and respect.

What to Ask CNA Training Classes

Questions to Ask Anchorage AK CNA training programsOnce you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.

  • 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Anchorage AK area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different 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 enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find 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 considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Anchorage AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Anchorage AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Pick the Right Nurse Assistant School

Anchorage AK CNA with assisted living patientDeciding on the right certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Anchorage AK.