How to Choose the Best CNA Training Program near Eagle River Alaska
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Eagle River AK. Once you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Though it may seem like a daunting endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the ideal program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More concerning that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a program consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those subjects together with a few other questions that you need to 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 Function of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Eagle River AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they often stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they may become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Eagle River AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that each state has its own 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as 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
Attending CNA training online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Eagle River AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important member of any Eagle River AK healthcare team. In fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of patients or residents of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she works for. CNAs also assist 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 member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who love to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt 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 manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Eagle River AK area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Eagle River AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Eagle River AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Eagle River AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA Training
Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant training program is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Eagle River AK.