How to Find the Right CNA Training Program near Fairbanks Alaska
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Fairbanks AK. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the Country. Though it may well seem like a challenging task, it's essential that you pick the best school to receive the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price 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 completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a program involves far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those topics 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 type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Fairbanks AK hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Fairbanks AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Fairbanks AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Fairbanks AK. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as 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 no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Fairbanks AK area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fairbanks 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 schools 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Fairbanks AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best CNA Program
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables 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, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Fairbanks AK.