How to Choose the Best CNA Course near Fairbanks Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training programs near Fairbanks AK. Once you have earned your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Even though it might seem like a complicated task, it's imperative that you choose the right school to receive the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But completing your due diligence before choosing a program entails much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Fairbanks AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, such as 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 prolonged time frames. In many cases, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Fairbanks AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 each state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Enrolling in CNA schools online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Fairbanks AK. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A CNA is a vital component of any Fairbanks AK healthcare team. As a matter of fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of patients or residents of the healthcare agency or facility that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living 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 reports to a nurse, typically an RN. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The work can be physically challenging, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect job for those who love to keep busy and help people while treating them with respect and dignity.
Things to Ask CNA Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and 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 only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Fairbanks AK area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain 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 working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with 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 judgements 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Fairbanks AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Choosing the right certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Fairbanks AK.