How to Pick the Best CNA Training Program near Anchorage Alaska
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Anchorage AK. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in health care within the USA. Though it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's important that you pick the best school to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But completing your due diligence before choosing a program entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those subjects as well as various other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Anchorage AK hospitals, clinics and other health facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Anchorage AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Frequently, they may become the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Anchorage AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Anchorage AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Anchorage AK area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools you are considering 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Anchorage AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Anchorage AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA School
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Anchorage AK.