How to Enroll In the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Fairbanks Alaska
Once you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Fairbanks AK. Once you have earned your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the Country. Even though it may well seem like a difficult undertaking, it's essential that you pick the right course to acquire the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence before picking a school requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics together with various 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 Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Fairbanks AK hospitals, practices and other health organizations 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 work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs might also work in Fairbanks AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. In many cases, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Fairbanks AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Fairbanks AK. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A CNA is a critical member of any Fairbanks AK medical team. In fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the front line care of patients or residents of the medical agency or facility that she or he works for. CNAs also help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often an RN. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their day or evening 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 people while treating them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent 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 are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 colleges 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 essential 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 medical 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 setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Nurse Assistant Training
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Fairbanks AK.