How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Eagle River Alaska
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Eagle River AK. Once you have attained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Though it might seem like a daunting endeavor, it's essential that you choose the best program to receive the proper training and education. A number of future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence before picking a training course entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those subjects along with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Eagle River AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they often remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Eagle River AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certain 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Eagle River AK. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A CNA is a vital component of any Eagle River AK medical organization. In fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also help with ADLs such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their work 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 people while treating them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Colleges
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 guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably 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 choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education and employment in the Eagle River AK area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Eagle River 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 complete 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Eagle River AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right CNA Program
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Eagle River AK.