How to Select the Right Nursing Assistant Course near Fairbanks Alaska
Once 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 classes near Fairbanks AK. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in healthcare within the USA. Although it may seem like a challenging task, it's important that you pick the ideal program to acquire the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be pondering 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 training course entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those issues together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they are employed. 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 management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Fairbanks AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extensive time frames. Frequently, they can become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Fairbanks AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 mandated 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 training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Fairbanks AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education and employment in the Fairbanks AK area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find 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 schools you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fairbanks AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships 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. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best CNA Program
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Fairbanks AK.